U.S. Protests Canadian Drug Maker’s Insolvency Case

The federal government is questioning whether our neighbors to the north will be looking out for the U.S. taxpayers in a Canadian pharmaceutical company’s insolvency case, The Wall Street Journal Bankruptcy Beat blog reported. The National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services objected last week to Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s request to gain U.S. courts’ recognition of its case in Canada. The Vancouver drug maker sought that recognition through its Chapter 15 bankruptcy filing with the Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy court. Angiotech holds a drug development license from NIH and already owes the U.S. government $45,000 in missed payments related to that permit. The agencies said recognition of the Canadian case would result in the administration of the license under “foreign law.” The drug maker holds a license to develop and distribute a drug designed to coat coronary artery stents. Angiotech received the license under a program designed to allow private companies to quickly bring to market medical innovations discovered through government-funded research. As part of its licensing deal, Angiotech is supposed to pay royalty fees to the U.S. government through at least 2015. Angiotech filed for Canada’s version of Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month with the aim of executing a debt-for-equity swap that hands control of the company to certain bondholders. Read more. (Subscription required.)