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Gene firm subject of patent action


An international biopharmaceutical company has filed a patent infringement action against a British firm and its subsidiaries in the United States District Court of the Southern District of California.

Bavarian Nordic owns several US patents relating to an attenuated strain of the company’s core technology, MVA-BN, which is the basis for its innovative smallpox vaccine, Imvamune.

It has now filed a suit against Oxford BioMedica plc, Biomedica Inc, and Oxford BioMedica Ltd, claiming they have infringed three of its patents by commercialising the MVA technology and earning large payments from Sanofi-Aventis under an agreement for the development and commercialisation of the therapeutic vaccine TroVax.

Bavarian Nordic’s president, Anders Hedegaard, said the legal action was a “necessary step to enforce our intellectual property rights”.

However, in a statement, Oxford BioMedica disputed the claims. “Throughout our eleven-year history, Oxford BioMedica has been diligent to ensure that it has freedom to operate for all its development programmes and is entirely respectful of the intellectual property that has been developed by others,” said Peter Nolan, senior vice-president of the firm’s commercial development arm.

“We believe that Bavarian Nordic’s claim is unwarranted and we have a high degree of confidence that this action will prove fruitless for Bavarian Nordic.”

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Oxford BioMedica

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