Durie Tangri Scores Antitrust Class Action Win

Mar 18, 2020

Durie Tangri scored its first win in a major antitrust class action against Gilead Sciences Inc. and other drugmakers on March 3, 2020 when U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen issued an 87-page opinion denying in large part Gilead and its co-defendants’ motions to dismiss.  Daralyn Durie, together with attorneys at Hilliard & Shadowen and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, has been appointed co-lead counsel for the proposed class of HIV drug purchasers—represented by veteran advocates Peter Staley, Gregg Gonsalves, and Brenda Goodrow, among others.

The plaintiffs’ core allegations center on Gilead’s agreements to develop HIV combination drug “cocktails” with competing pharmaceutical companies including Janssen (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) and Bristol-Myer Squibb (BMS).  Plaintiffs allege that as patents covering Gilead’s core antiretroviral drugs were expiring, the company forged deals to develop single-tablet combinations that required the use of Gilead’s branded drugs, even after generic versions become available.  Following a lengthy hearing at which Mark Lemley presented argument for the Plaintiffs, Judge Chen rejected Gilead’s lead argument—that the no-generics provisions are lawful “ancillary restraints” to legitimate joint ventures—leaving open whether the restraints would be judged as per se illegal.

“What started as a case brought by non-traditional pharma litigators in a nontraditional pharma venue is now shaping up as having potential to make significant law for the industry,” reported ALM’s Scott Graham.  The Durie Tangri team includes Mark Lemley, Daralyn Durie, Dave McGowan, Laura Miller, Henry Huttinger, and Adi Kamdar.  The case is Staley et al. v. Gilead Sciences, Inc., No. 19-CV-02573-EMC (N.D. Cal) (lead case).