A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Imcor Pharmaceutical, Alliance Pharmaceutical (both San Diego) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Molecular Biosystems, reported that they have concluded an agreement with GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) resolving disputed patent claims in a case filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Under the settlement terms, GE Healthcare will pay $1 million to Imcor and $200,000 to Alliance for a fully paid-up license.

Additional terms provide that all parties granted each other a royalty-free cross-license with the right to sub-license their respective ultrasound contrast agents. All parties also will have the right to further develop and commercialize their respective ultrasound contrast imaging agents without risk of infringing the other company’s patent rights.

Concurrent with the license agreement, Imcor and Alliance reached an agreement freeing each party of its continuing obligations under the original Imagent (perflexane lipid microspheres) asset purchase and providing for the allocation between the parties of the proceeds of any future transaction involving the disposition of Imagent.

Jack DeFranco, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Imcor, called the agreement important “because it allows Imcor to consider various alternatives for its Imagent asset, including, seeking worldwide licensing partners for the continued development and marketing of Imagent, engaging in a sale of some or all of this asset, or engaging in a merger or other material transaction.”.

Alliance is a development-stage company focused on developing its lead product, Oxygent, an intravascular oxygen therapeutic, based on a proprietary PFC and surfactant technologies. Alliance says it is the only company that has advanced a synthetic PFC emulsion-based oxygen therapeutic into late-stage multi-center clinical trials in both Europe and North America.

Applied Biosystems (Foster City, California), a business of Applera (Norwalk, Connecticut), reported settlement of its qui tam litigation with Promega (Madison, Wisconsin).

The litigation was initiated, it said, by Promega vs. Hoffmann-La Roche (Basel, Switzerland) and Applera in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2000. Following the district court’s dismissal of Promega’s amended complaint, with prejudice, on Sept. 29, 2004, Promega filed an appeal, and Applera filed an appeal on its claim for its costs in the matter.

With the settlement, those actions have been withdrawn, and “no other consideration is being exchanged by the parties,” Applied said in a statement.

Promega now can negotiate a license to Roche’s patent portfolio for manufacturing, using and selling polymerase enzymes for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) purposes with Applied Biosystems, the licensor of Roche patents covering reagents and methods for practicing PCR and real-time PCR in life science and applied research fields.

Applera consists of two operating groups – Applied Biosystems, developing instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services; and Celera Genomics (Rockville, Maryland) developing therapeutics for cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

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