Columbia Laboratories, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRX) announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: WPI) a Notice of Allowance for a key patent for the use of progesterone to treat or prevent preterm birth. The USPTO issues a Notice of Allowance to report that a patent application has been examined and is allowed for issuance as a patent. The patent is expected to issue within three months upon payment of required fees.
“We look forward to reporting results of the PREGNANT Study, our pivotal Phase III clinical trial of PROCHIEVE to reduce the risk of preterm birth in women with a short cervix at mid pregnancy, in December.”
The new patent pertains to the use of progesterone to treat women with a short cervix at mid-pregnancy to prevent spontaneous preterm birth. A short cervix at mid-pregnancy is the single most important predictor of preterm birth. The patent will cover CRINONE® and PROCHIEVE® (progesterone gels) and any next-generation products in the potential new preterm birth indication until at least February 2028. The patent application was among the assets Columbia sold to Watson in July 2010.
"This use patent, which is founded in our longstanding research efforts in preventing preterm birth, will help safeguard our future royalty stream from Watson Pharmaceuticals for progesterone products in the potential preterm birth indication," said Frank C. Condella, Jr., Columbia's president and chief executive officer. "We look forward to reporting results of the PREGNANT Study, our pivotal Phase III clinical trial of PROCHIEVE to reduce the risk of preterm birth in women with a short cervix at mid pregnancy, in December."
Columbia Laboratories, Inc.