Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Getting Million$ In Deal With Drug CompanyPosted: Updated:
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is getting millions of dollars from the maker of an eye drop medicine to shield the drug from generic competition.
The tribe says it has reached an agreement with Allergan, which manufactures Restasis, a medication used to treat chronic dry eye.
Under the pact, the rights to Restasis will be transferred to the tribe.
Because the tribe is sovereign, which gives it certain rights, Allergan is hoping to fight off patent challenges.
The tribe will receive a $13.75 million payment once the deal goes through. After that, it will get $15 million a year in royalties.
“The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and its counsel approached Allergan with a sophisticated opportunity to strengthen the defense of our RESTASIS® intellectual property in the upcoming inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board,” said Bob Bailey, Allergan’s chief legal officer in a news release. "We are impressed with the Tribe’s thoughtful and enterprising approach, which will allow them to achieve their goals of self-reliance and help them address the most urgent needs in their community.”
The tribe issued the following statement in a news release: “This is a viable and sound opportunity for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe to enter into the patent, technology and research sector as part of our overall economic diversification strategy. We realize that we cannot depend solely on casino revenues and, in order for us to be self-reliant, we must enter into diverse business sectors to address the chronically unmet needs of the Akwesasne community; such as housing, employment, education, healthcare, cultural and language preservation.”
The tribe is now filing a motion to have a Restasis patent challenge dismissed based on its sovereign immunity.