A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Digene (Gaithersburg, Maryland) reported that on June 12, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware granted Beckman Coulter’s (Fullerton, California) motion to be dismissed from Digene’s (Gaithersburg, Maryland) ongoing patent infringement action against it and Ventana Medical Systems (Tucson, Arizona).

“The claims between Digene and Beckman were decided in the initial arbitration, which was held in March 2006,” said Daryl Faulkner, president/CEO of Digene. “Digene is pleased with the outcome of that arbitration, in which the arbitration panel upheld important contractual rights of Digene’s relating to HPV materials and intellectual property, and found that Beckman’s sales of certain HPV materials to Ventana and attempted assignment of HPV patent rights to Ventana was impermissible. With this motion behind us, we expect to continue our efforts to defend our intellectual property rights.”

The patent infringement litigation against Ventana is continuing, and trial has been set to begin Dec. 17.

Digene first filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Ventana in 2001, claiming that the company infringed two of its patents used to detect the cervical cancer virus HPV.

Digene develops DNA and RNA tests, with a focus on women’s health. The company’s flagship product, the Digene HPV Test, is the only FDA-approved and CE-marked test for the detection of human papillomavirus, the cause of essentially all cervical cancers.

Digene’s product portfolio also includes tests for the detection of other sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia and gonorrhea.