Week Ahead in Health: Aug. 2, 2021

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(Reuters) - Here are some upcoming events of interest to the health community. All times are local.

Monday, Aug. 2

9 a.m. - The first bellwether trial is scheduled to begin before Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus in Columbus, Ohio in multidistrict litigation over Becton, Dickinson and Co subsidiary C.R. Bard's hernia mesh. Plaintiff Steven Johns alleges he was implanted with the company's Ventralight ST hernia mesh and subsequently suffered a recurrence of the hernia, pain and decreased mobility after the device failed. His case is one of more than 13,000 consolidated in the MDL. Tuesday's hearing will also include a case management conference for the MDL.

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The bellwether case is Johns v. C.R. Bard et al, No. 18-cv-01509, and the MDL is In re: Davol Inc/C.R. Bard Inc Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, No. 18-md-02846, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio.

For plaintiffs: David Butler of Taft Stettinius & Hollister.

For Bard: Lori Cohen of Greenberg Traurig.

10 a.m. - Apotex Inc, Fresenius Kabi and Viatris Inc will urge the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to invalidate patents on Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc's chemotherapy drug Bendeka, sold in partnership with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. The companies say that U.S. District Judge Colm Connolly in Delaware should have found the patents invalid as obvious or indefinite. The argument will be held telephonically.

The case is Cephalon Inc v. Slayback Pharma Ltd, Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, No. 20-2134.

For Teva and Eagle: David Berl of Williams & Connolly.

For Apotex: Steven Feldman of Hahn Loeser & Parks.

For Fresenius Kabi and Viatris: Imron Aly of Schiff Hardin.

10 a.m. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will hear telephonic oral arguments in a patent infringement case brought by Adapt Pharma accusing Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd of copying Narcan, its widely used opioid overdose nasal spray treatment. Adapt argues that U.S. District Judge Brian Martinotti in New Jersey improperly ruled its patents obvious following a bench trial on the grounds that each claimed patent limitation could be found in prior art, without fully considering whether a person of ordinary skill would have been motivated to combine them.

The case is Adapt Pharma Operations v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc, Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, No. 20-2106.

For Adapt: Catherine Stetson of Hogan Lovells.

For Teva: John Rozendaal of Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox.

Tuesday, Aug. 3

10 a.m. - Orthodontics company SmileDirectClub LLC will urge the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to revive a patent lawsuit against rival Candid Care Co. SmileDirectClub accused the company of infringing a patent covering its method, which is at the core of its business model, of scanning a patient's mouth at a brief appointment and using the scan to make a custom orthodontic device, which is then mailed to the patient. SmileDirectClub argues U.S. District Judge Colm Connolly in Delaware wrongly dismissed the case after finding the patent was directed to an unpatentable abstract idea before claim construction or discovery. The argument will be held telephonically.

The case is SmileDirectClub LLC v. Candid Care Co, Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, No. 21-1446.

For SmileDirectClub: Simeon Papacostas of Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff.

For Candid Care: Michael Sandonato of Venable.

Wednesday, Aug. 4

2 p.m. – A case management conference is scheduled via videoconference before U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in Oakland, California in litigation over claims that Gilead Sciences Inc’s HIV drugs Viread, Truvada, Atripla, Complera and Stribild cause damage to patients' kidneys and bones. Plaintiffs allege that Gilead was aware the products were unsafe but concealed the risk from consumers while making billions from the drugs.

The case is Holley v. Gilead Sciences Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-cv-06972.

For plaintiffs: Steve Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

For Gilead: Debra Pole of Sidley Austin.

Thursday, Aug. 5

9:15 a.m. - A trial is scheduled to begin before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in Chicago in a case brought by a man who alleges he had a heart attack as a result of using AbbVie Inc predecessor Allergan's testosterone replacement drug Androderm. The plaintiff, Brad Martin, is one of fewer than 100 plaintiffs remaining in a multidistrict litigation over testosterone replacement products alleged link to cardiovascular problems after AbbVie settled more than 4,000 cases in 2018. Martin's case was chosen as a bellwether trial. AbbVie won several previous bellwether trials, and got two large verdicts against it overturned.

The bellwether case is Martin et al v. Actavis Inc et al, U.S. District Court, No. 15-cv-04292; the MDL is In re Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 14-cv-1748.

For Martin: James O'Brien of O'Brien Law.

For AbbVie: Jeffrey Peck of Ulmer & Berne.

Know of an event that could be included in Week Ahead in Health? Contact Brendan Pierson at brendan.pierson@thomsonreuters.com

(NOTE: The Aug. 5, 9:15 a.m. calendar entry has been corrected to state that the product at issue is Androderm, not Androgel.

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Brendan Pierson reports on product liability litigation and on all areas of health care law. He can be reached at brendan.pierson@thomsonreuters.com.