Monday, Jan 19, 1987

Progress on Genentech t-PA Patent Application in Japan

South San Francisco, Calif. -- January 19, 1987 --

Genentech, Inc. today announced that its patent application in Japan for the production of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) by recombinant DNA technology had been acted upon favorably by the Japanese Patent Office. The application covers the t-PA composition of matter resulting from recombinant process. Activase™, tissue plasminogen activator, is a thrombolytic agent now awaiting approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment of heart attacks.

"After full examination on the merits of the application," said Walter Buting, Genentech's chief patent counsel," the Japanese Patent Office has announced its intention to publish the application. This means that the Japanese Patent Office has agreed that Genentech is entitled to the patent but interested parties will have an opportunity to voice any objections to the proposed patent grant." Under Japanese procedure, any such opposition could take a year or more to conclude. However, Genentech will be free to begin enforcement actions immediately following publication of the application.

Right under the Japanese application have been exclusively licensed by Genentech to Mitsubishi Chemical Industries Limited and Kyoka Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd. It is not expected that these companies will grant licenses to third parties.

According to Robert A. Swanson, chief executive officer of Genentech, "We are gratified by the Japanese Patent Office's recognition of Genentech's pioneering work, and are prepared to vigorously defend our patent rights." Genentech has already begun a lawsuit in England against Wellcome PLC for infringement of the corresponding United Kingdom patent.

The Japanese Patent Office action represents the first occasion on which any of Genentech's patent applications in Japan have advanced to this stage.

Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company, focusing on the development by recombinant DNA technology.

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