Nevada-based biotech Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SPPI) announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a five-year extension on patent protection for its drug Folotyn. The patent was originally set to expire on July 16, 2017. The drug's patent will now expire in 2022. Folotyn net sales were approximately $50 million in 2011.

Folotyn is used to treat patients with relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). PTCL, a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, rarely occurs in the U.S. but is more common in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Allos Therapeutics developed Folotyn after its initial discovery by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, SRI International, and Southern Research Institute. The drug received accelerated approval from the FDA in 2009. Spectrum added Folotyn to its product portfolio with its acquisition of Allos last month.

The patent extension was granted under provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, which was meant to encourage development of generic drugs but also provide the possibility of extended patent protection for companies developing new drugs. 

Dr. Rajesh C. Shrotriya, chairman and CEO of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, said the patent extension allows Spectrum to achieve substantial expected revenue growth while reaching out to more physicians and patients.

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