FDA Pushes Back Enforcement Deadline for MoCRA Facility Registration and Product Listing Requirements

Today, FDA announced updated guidance regarding its MoCRA rollout.

FDA  does not intend to enforce the requirements related to cosmetic product facility registration and cosmetic product listing for an additional six months after the December 29, 2023, statutory deadline, or until July 1, 2024, to provide regulated industry additional time to comply with these requirements.

To read the full text of this post by Kelly Bonner,  please visit the Duane Morris Fashion, Retail and Consumer Branded Products Blog.

Federal Trade Commission Issues Notice Letters Regarding Allegedly Improper Orange Book Listings

On November 7, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it had issued notice letters to 10 life sciences companies regarding 100 patents that the FTC contends are improperly listed in the Orange Book, the FDA’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations. The announcement comes of the heels of the FTC’s policy statement warning drug companies that improper listing of patents in the Orange Book could violate Section 5 of the FTC Act. Pursuant to the FTC’s policy, the companies have 30 days to either withdraw or amend their listings or certify under penalty of perjury that the listings are proper.

The FTC believes that improper listings in the Orange Book could constitute an unfair method of competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act because a patent listed in the Orange Book could lead to a statutory stay that generally blocks the introduction of competing products for 30 months. According to the FTC, costs associated with challenging patents could frustrate innovation and/or market entry. The FTC has said that even a brief delay in generic entry harms consumers in the form of artificially high drug prices.

We will be watching how companies choose to respond to the recent notice letters and the policy’s impact on Orange Book listings and competition with respect to brand drugs going forward.

Boston Partner Daniel Pierce Interviews Treventis CEO Chris Barden

Daniel R. Pierce, Corporate and IP partner in the Boston office, recently spoke with Chris Barden, CEO of firm client Treventis, about his background, his company’s research into misfolded proteins to develop cures for central nervous system diseases like Alzheimer’s, as well as Chris’ thoughts and experience at the BIO Conference.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up CEO of an emerging life science company?

Sure. My background is really in computational science. I did a lot of work in university looking at how computers could be used to solve problems in chemistry. I did a Ph.D. in computational chemistry, where I was looking at molecules with five atoms in them and getting all kinds of gory details. I decided, after doing that, I really wanted to do something a little bit more practical. So that’s where I got into working in drug discovery.

I’ve been doing work in drug discovery projects for the better part of 20 years now, looking at central nervous system infectious diseases as well as developing cancer drugs. I’m pleased to be involved in a number of projects that have developed pre-clinical candidates, and Treventis is one of the main engines for us to be able to move those things along.

In terms of Treventis, could you talk a little bit about how the company was formed and your experience there?

Treventis was, from day one, operating multinationally, which is a little bit unusual. We had a management team that actually left a Nasdaq-traded pharmaceutical company to be the founding C-suite executives at Treventis. And then we had a pretty big contingent of scientists working in Canada that were developing our concepts and drug design.

I started on the R&D side and then got more involved in trying to manage the Canadian side of the operation. Ultimately, I took the reins from the former CEO, and have been in this current role for seven years or so, driving the company.

Treventis focuses on central nervous system diseases, particularly looking at misfolded proteins as a cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Can you talk about what misfolded proteins are and why they are the focus of your therapeutic research?

Misfolded proteins are essentially proteins that are found in the body that have some part of them, or all of them, that don’t stay in a particular shape.

When we look at most proteins in the body, they get formed and then they fold in a certain way and they more or less stay in that shape for their entire biological lives. But, these misfolded proteins are shapeshifters, and because they can change their shape, sometimes they get into a shape which allows them to basically begin to polymerize. They begin to build copies of themselves and aggregate to make these really big clumps of protein. This is most notorious in Alzheimer’s disease, with the amyloid plaque seen in the brain.

A lot of the drugs that are coming onto the market right now are specifically looking at that amyloid plaque. But there’s also a protein called tau, which is important, and that’s one of the focuses of Treventis. We’re working on ways to keep the tau protein from misfolding, and hopefully we’ll have some disease-modifying potential in Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the ways that Treventis develops its drug candidates is by utilizing your proprietary Common Conformational Morphology technology. Can you talk a little bit about what it is?

Common Conformational Morphology, or CCM, is a concept that we developed fairly early on in the company, and we’ve been developing over the decade-plus that Treventis has been around. CCM looks at the lack of information that we normally have about what a misfolded protein’s three-dimensional shape really is and tries to build computer models that will simulate that. We use those computer models as hypotheses for experiments that we can do to try to demonstrate that the model has some validity. Utilizing that virtual model of the misfolded protein, we then do drug discovery work.

It’s similar to a conventional drug campaign. Typically, if you had an enzyme and you were trying to make an enzyme inhibitor, you would try to crystallize the enzyme so you could see where your inhibitor needed to bind. Misfolded proteins don’t crystallize. That’s the main reason why you need some other approach, and CCM is our unique approach to do this.

Did this approach lead to the development of promising compounds that you’ve used or that you’re leveraging in your partnership with Takeda?

Oh, yes. We’ve developed several classes of compounds using CCM in looking at compounds that affect beta amyloid and compounds that affect TDP that affect alpha synuclein potentially in Parkinson’s disease, and most notably for this Takeda collaboration, compounds that affect the misfolding of tau. So we’ve made compounds that we have not only demonstrated bind to this tau protein and affect its misfolding, but also have effects on the misfolding in animal models of the disease as well. This is the approach which allows for these potential drugs to slow down the production of misfolded proteins, and that should mean that there’s some disease-modifying effects. This is, I think, what really captured the imagination of the Takeda neuroscience team when we began working with them. We are going to continue that collaboration to arrive upon the chemical matter that is really going to be the compound that goes into the clinic for this program.

Lastly, I know you were recently in Boston for the BIO Conference, and that’s something that you’ve done many years before. Can you talk a little bit about what it was like to be here for BIO and the value for companies like Treventis that are early stage to be there?

BIO is always an exciting and exhausting time of year, and it’s never more so than when it’s in Boston. BIO, even before COVID, is really the preeminent networking event for the pharmaceutical industry. It’s a “must-do” for emerging biotech companies to be able to make those connections face to face.

I think the thing that many people wouldn’t get from all of the banners and crowds and the big event things is how much it’s really focused on one-on-one meetings. Most of the conversations that I was having at BIO really were sitting at a table with one or two or three other people from some other company and discussing our respective companies, and just trying to have as many quality meetings as possible, face to face.

This interview was published in the Autumn 2023 Boston Office Happenings newsletter.

Federal Regulatory Laws Due Overhaul after MoCRA

On December 23, 2022, Congress enacted the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA)—the first major statutory change to the U.S. federal government’s ability to regulate cosmetics since 1938. Passed with bipartisan
and industry support, MoCRA expands the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over cosmetics, and creates substantial new obligations for manufacturers, packers and distributors of cosmetics intended for sale in
the United States. Here’s what beauty companies need to know.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorney Kelly Bonner, please visit the firm website,

FDA Proposes Updates to 510(k) Path

On September 6, 2023, the FDA released three draft guidance documents that seek to “modernize” the 510(k) premarket notification process.  Ever since the FDA first proposed “transformative new steps” to the program in 2018, the agency has promised to further update the 510(k) clearance pathway in an effort to better balance technological innovation and patient safety.  In issuing these draft guidance documents, the FDA has followed through on that promise.

Read more on the Products Liability Blog.

FTC Targets Private Equity in Challenge to Anesthesiology Roll-Ups

On September 21, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission sued U.S. Anesthesia Partners Inc. and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe XI L.P., among other private equity funds, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas under the antitrust laws. Specifically, FTC alleges that the defendants engaged in an anti-competitive scheme to consolidate anesthesia practices in Texas and to force other independent anesthesia groups into price-setting arrangements that violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act, Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 5 of the FTC Act.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

FTC Issues Policy Statement Cautioning Branded Drug Companies Against Improper Orange Book Listings

Duane Morris Takeaways: On Thursday September 14, 2023, the FTC issued a policy statement warning brand drug companies that improper listing of patents in the FDA’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations, commonly referred to as the “Orange Book” could violate Section 5 of the FTC Act. The Hatch-Waxman Act and FDA regulations outline the criteria that brand drug companies must follow for listing patents in the Orange Book. Brand drug manufacturers that list patents in the Orange Book may obtain a 30-month stay of generic competition. According to the FTC, certain brand drug manufacturers have failed to follow that criteria, in some cases by submitting patents for listing in the Orange Book that claim neither the reference listed drug nor a method of using it. Under the new policy statement, FTC will scrutinize improper listings as a potential method of unfair competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act.

The policy statement is required reading for any corporate counsel involved in the submission of patent information in the Orange Book.

Implications for Brand Drug Manufacturers: Under the regulatory processes set up by Congress, the person who submits the patent information in the Orange Book listing must attest under penalty of perjury that the submission complies with the regulations. Drug manufacturers and individuals responsible for submitting such information are now on notice that the FTC intends to scrutinize improper Orange Book listings to determine whether they constitute an unfair methods of competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act or illegal monopolization. The policy statement also warns that individuals who submit or cause the submission of improper Orange Book patent listings may be held individually liable, including potentially having such cases referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for further investigation.

FDA’s New Electronic Portal for Facility Registration and Product Listing of Cosmetic Product Facilities and Products Under MoCRA

Continuing its implementation of the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act’s (MoCRA), and following on the heels of FDA’s Draft Guidance on Facility Registration and Product Listing (previously discussed here), on September 15, 2023, FDA announced its newly developed draft electronic submission portal, Cosmetics Direct, to assist persons submitting cosmetic product facility registrations and product listings under newly added Section 607 of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).

Draft screenshots of the electronic system, including example submissions, are available for review and comments, along with an interim Federal Register Notice, announcing the new system.draft guidance,

To read the full post by Duane Morris attorney Kelly A, Bonner, please visit the Duane Morris Fashion, Retail and Consumer Branded Products Blog.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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