Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc (CAT), of Royston, Cambridgeshire, which specializes in human monoclonal antibodies, will pay the Scripps Research Institute and Stratagene the equivalent of US$1.25 million in cash and shares in settlement of U.S. patent interferences.

The interferences relate to U.S. patent applications made by the U.K. Medical Research Council covering antibody gene library technology, of which CAT is the exclusive licensee, and applications made by Scripps/Stratagene in the same area.

Under terms of the settlement, the three parties have agreed they will co-own all the relevant patent applications, but that CAT will have sole rights to exploit this intellectual property, subject to certain existing rights. In addition to the $1.25 million, CAT will pay royalties on income from products based on the patents.

Diane Mellett, vice president of legal affairs at CAT, told BioWorld International the interference action will now be terminated. ¿We now expect the patents to be issued sometime next year,¿ she said.

¿We decided that it would probably cost less in the long run to reach an agreement now, than to have a dispute dragging on for two or three years with all the legal costs.¿

This case is not related to CAT¿s other patent disputes with its rival Morphosys GmbH of Munich, Germany. ¿ Nuala Moran