Wednesday, Feb 26, 1986
South San Francisco, Calif. -- February 26, 1986 --The British Patent Office today awarded Genentech a patent on its tissue plasminogen activator and recombinant DNA methods of making it, and Genentech instructed legal counsel to file suit in Britain against Burroughs Wellcome for patent infringement.
"This action is evidence of Genentech's confidence in the strength of this patent and demonstrates our determination to vigorously defend the products of our pioneering research," according to Robert A. Swanson, Chief Executive Officer.
Genentech has already been awarded t-PA patents in 10 other countries, but Swanson said the British patent is especially significant because Wellcome is a British pharmaceutical company. Genentech's intentions were made clear to Wellcome in an October meeting.
According to Brian Cunningham, vice president and general counsel of Genentech, "The company's enforcement plans led to its retention last fall of Stephen Gratwick, Queen's Counsel of Gray's Inn, and Simon Cooke of Bristows, Cooke & Carpmael. These counsel will represent us in the infringement proceedings and in a British court action begun February 26 by Wellcome in an attempt to overturn the favorable decision of the British Patent Office."
"Genentech's tissue plasminogen activator, trademarked Activase, is in widespread clinical testing in the United States for the treatment of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and other clot-related diseases. It has been licensed to Boehringer Ingelheim in Europe and to Mitsubishi Chemical Industries and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd. in Japan and is in clinical testing in both locations.
Genentech is a leading biotechnology company, focusing on the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals produced by recombinant DNA technology.
# # #