A Medical Device Daily

Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) yesterday reported that a Dutch court has ruled that Cordis Europa NV, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J; New Brunswick, New Jersey), infringes a Boston Scientific balloon catheter patent.

In its own news release on the decision, J&J’s Cordis (Miami Lakes, Florida) unit said that it intends to file an appeal with the Dutch Appeals Court.

The catheter products found to infringe include the Cypher Raptor, the Cypher Select, the Bx Velocity Raptor, the Bx Sonic, the U-Pass and the Aqua T3.

The catheter shaft at issue in the case is used in the delivery system for the Cypher and Cypher Select sirolimus-eluting coronary stents, as well as several other catheter-based products.

Boston Scientific said the court’s decision gives it the right to damages and to an injunction against Cordis manufacturing, using or selling the infringing catheters in the Netherlands.

Paul LaViolette, Boston Sci’s chief operating officer, said the decision “confirms our belief that [we have] fundamental intellectual property in the treatment of coronary artery disease.”

He added: “We are hopeful that it will provide an opportunity for a fair and reasonable settlement of the numerous disputes between our two companies.”

It said the court ruling requires that Cordis cease production of the balloon catheters made at its facility in Roden, the Netherlands, which supplies Cypher and Cypher Select products for markets outside the U.S., and to cease sales of those products in the Netherlands.

In promising an appeal to the ruling, Cordis said that the decision does not prevent sales of the products outside of the Netherlands and will not impact the supply of the Cypher drug-eluting stent in the U.S.

Given its current inventory and expanding manufacturing capabilities elsewhere, the company said it does not expect “a significant impact” on its ability to supply the outside-U.S. marketplace for the products.

German lab joins diagnostics working group

Bioscientia (Ingelheim, Germany), international reference laboratory, will participate as a European site for a joint working group on molecular diagnostics initiated by Sequenom (San Diego) and Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania).

Sequenom’s MassArray Compact System, a genetics analysis platform, will be installed at Bioscientia’s clinical reference laboratory facility in Germany to benchmark the MassArray System in a molecular diagnostic testing environment.

Siemens Medical Solutions, a leader in medical instrumentation and medical information technology, will contribute project funding and engineering expertise and Bioscientia, a molecular genetic analysis provider, will perform the study. Sequenom will provide its MassArray Compact, consumables, technical support and analytically validated assays for specific tests, including deep vein thrombosis and HIV.

Siemens and Sequenom a partnership late last year to work in concert with participating reference laboratories to execute a comprehensive functional requirement analysis for a molecular diagnostics platform. Bioscientia joins Specialty Laboratories (Santa Monica, California) as a part of the joint working group.

The first phase of the joint program is a benchmarking study evaluating the analytical data quality and current workflow of the MassArray System in clinical reference laboratories. Sequenom said it expects the benchmarking study to be completed by 4Q05.

“One of the goals of the joint working group is to evaluate the utility of mass spectrometry through benchmarking studies,” said Mohammad Naraghi, MD, PhD, senior vice president of business development at Siemens. “Bioscientia has a state-of-the-art molecular genetics analysis laboratory and brings more than 25 years of clinical diagnostic experience to the team. Their global client base and breadth of their experience will be a major asset.”

$1.1M research award to Tripos

Tripos (St. Louis), a provider of drug discovery chemistry and informatics products and services, has been awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship for Transfer of Knowledge by the European Union (EU) under its Sixth Framework Program for Research and Technological Development.

The grant, valued at about EUR 875,000 (approximately $1.1 million), will pay for seven biology and chemistry research fellows to join Tripos Discovery Research (TDR; Bude, UK), for 18 months each over a four-year period to work in lead discovery and development. These fellows will be recruited from continental Europe, and the first of the scientists is expected to begin working at TDR later this year.

The Sixth Framework Program is designed to promote scientific excellence and improve Europe’s competitiveness and innovation. It is the EU’s main source of research funding in Europe.

Tripos provides chemistry-research products and services for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other life science industries.