CBC HIV-2 diagnostic license upheld by Court, HIV-1 Western blot
infringes Institut Pasteur patent
WORCESTER, Mass., Sept. 6, 1995 -- href="chap11.cambridge.html">Cambridge Biotech Corp.
said today that the United States Bankruptcy Court has upheld the
company's license under two patents issued to Institut Pasteur to
commercialize diagnostic tests for the HIV-2 strain of the AIDS
virus, enabling the company to move forward with its reorganization
efforts. The Court also ruled that Cambridge Biotech's HIV-1 Western
blot confirmatory test for HIV-1 infringes a third patent issued to
Institut Pasteur, and enjoined the company from the manufacture and
sale of the HIV-1 Western blot test.
"We are pleased that the Court affirmed strongly that the
company's HIV-2 diagnostic technology is covered under an existing
license agreement with Pasteur Sanofi Diagnostics, Institut
Pasteur's licensee," said Dr. Alison Taunton-Rigby, president and
CEO of Cambridge Biotech. "We consider this license to be a valuable
asset of our diagnostic business, and the resolution of this issue
will enable us to go forward with our reorganization efforts." She
noted that the company's two HIV-2 diagnostic tests, the HIV 1/2
Recombigen screening test and HIV-2 Western blot confirmatory test,
are sold in selected European markets and are under FDA regulatory
review for marketing approval in the United States.
The Court's other ruling that the HIV-1 Western blot
confirmatory test infringes one of the Institut Pasteur patents
affects the company's HIV-1 Western blot test but does not affect
its other HIV-1 diagnostic tests. The company expects to appeal
this portion of the judge's decision and is evaluating other options
open to it. The HIV-1 Western Blot test is sold in the United
States directly by the company and through distributors, and in
Europe through distributors. The test accounted for less than 15%
of the company's diagnostic revenues in 1994.
Institut Pasteur and Genetic Systems filed suit in March 1995,
alleging that Cambridge Biotech's HIV-2 tests infringe on U.S.
patents nos. 5,055,391 and 5,051,496 issued to Institut Pasteur.
The judge ruled that these patents have been validly licensed to
Cambridge Biotech under an earlier agreement with Pasteur Sanofi
Diagnostics. Pasteur Sanofi Diagnostics is the licensee of the
Institut Pasteur patents and is jointly owned by Institut Pasteur
and Sanofi, S.A. In the decision on the HIV-1 Western blot test,
the Court ruled that Cambridge Biotech infringed on a U.S. patent
no. 5,217,861 issued in 1993 to Institut Pasteur, covering a protein
Cambridge Biotech Corporation, which filed for protection under
Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on July 7, 1994, is a
therapeutics and diagnostics company involved in developing
vaccines, adjuvants, and diagnostics for infectious diseases and
cancer in humans and animals.
/CONTACT: Alison Taunton-Rigby, President and Chief Executive
Officer or Karen Meenan, Associate General Counsel of Cambridge
Corp., 508-797-5777 or Robert Gottlieb, Senior Vice President of
Feinstein Partners, 617-577-8110/