Tuesday, Jul 7, 1987

Britain's High Court Rules on t-PA Patent Dispute

South San Francisco, Calif. -- July 7, 1987 --

Genentech, Inc. reported today that London's High Court of Justice, in litigation involving the company and Wellcome Foundation Limited, stated that Genentech's invention involving recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) was novel and unobvious. Despite this, the court held that the claims of the British patent were overly broad and for that reason, unless the claims were modified appropriately, would be revoked. T-PA in a new pharmaceutical product that dissolves life-threatening blood clots that cause heart attacks.

Genentech issued the following statement:

"We believe the evidence at trial supported the validity of the company's patent. We are studying the Court's decision in preparation for the filing of an appeal, which we propose to vigorously pursue. This patent decision relates solely to the United Kingdom. We will continue to press our patent claims in the United States and in other jurisdictions."

Genentech's tissue plasminogen activator, which will be marketed under the trademark Activase® in North America, is awaiting approval of the Food and Drug Administration to market t-PA in the United States for the treatment of myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Genentech is a leading biotechnology company, focusing on the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals produced by recombinant DNA technology.

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