PHILADELPHIA – Discovery is underway over jurisdiction in a South Carolina biotech company's antitrust lawsuit against imprisoned pharmaceutical kingpin Martin Shkreli following a decision by a Philadelphia-based federal judge last month.
In his 46-page memorandum issued Dec. 11, U.S. District Court J. Curtis Joyner, on the bench in Pennsylvania's Eastern District, stayed Shkreli's motion to dismiss for 90 days "to allow for discovery limited to the jurisdictional issue."
The question over jurisdiction under federal court rules of civil procedure had been raised in Shkreli's motion.
After discovery is complete, parties in the case may submit supplemental briefs to return the matter before Joyner, according to the memorandum.
Spring Pharmaceuticals' anti-trust litigation against Shkreli, Retrophin Inc. and two related companies, Mission Pharmacal Co. and Alamo Pharma Services Inc., alleges the defendants unlawfully shielded the kidney drug Thiola. Spring Pharmaceuticals alleges Shkreli and the other defendants didn't provide samples of Thiola to competitors as required under federal law to demonstrate "bioequivalence" of generics.
"Thiola is off-patent and currently the only FDA-approved tiopronin product for treatment of the rare genetic disease cystinuria, which causes recurring kidney stones," the memorandum said.
Spring Pharmaceuticals is headquartered in Duncan, South Carolina.
Retrophin, Mission and Alamo had filed motions to dismiss citing a lack of subject matter jurisdiction that Joyner granted. Joyner also denied Mission's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
Also known as "Pharma Bro" and the "the most hated man in America," Turing Pharmaceuticals founder Shkreli made headlines in 2015 when he and his company hiked up the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent overnight after purchasing the rights to it. The decades-old drug had not been developed by Turing Pharmaceuticals or Shkreli.
Two years later, Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of securities fraud.
Shkreli, now 36, is being held at the low security federal correctional facility in Allenwood, according to an online federal inmate search.