Tuesday, Apr 2, 1996

Genentech Wins Second Major Biotechnology Patent Dispute In Japan

Judge orders Sumitomo to halt production and sale of t-PA

South San Francisco, Calif. -- April 2, 1996 --

Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: GNE) Genentech, Inc. today announced that the Osaka High Court reversed a lower court decision and ruled in favor of Genentech in its claim of patent infringement by Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. in its sale of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) in Japan. This is the second major Genentech patent dispute involving t-PA addressed in the Japanese courts. In the previous case in 1991, the courts upheld Genentech's t-PA patent rights against Toyobo Co., Ltd.

The Osaka High Court ordered Sumitomo to halt the production and sale of t-PA, which Sumitomo had started to produce and market in 1995. Sumitomo may appeal the Osaka High Court ruling.

"This ruling is important not only to Genentech and its licensees, but also to all research-intensive biotechnology companies who depend on the protection of patents for future economic growth," said Stephen Raines, Genentech vice president, Intellectual Property.

Genentech brought suit in 1989 against Sumitomo Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a licensee of the Wellcome Foundation. Genentech has two licensees in Japan, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., which markets the product under the trade name GRTPAreg., and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd., which uses the trade name Activacinreg.. Additionally, Mitsubishi has a co-marketing partner for GRTPA, Tanabe Seiyaku of Osaka. Genentech markets t-PA in the United States under the trade name, Activase®.

Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California and is traded on the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges under the symbol GNE.

# # #