Cistron Biotechnology Inc. said Monday it was awarded $2.1 millionin damages from PeproTech Inc.'s infringement of its interleukin-1beta (IL-1b) patent.Cistron, of Pine Brook, N.J., filed the suit in the U.S. District Courtof New Jersey in 1991. It had licensed the patent, coveringrecombinant DNA which codes for IL-1b, from New EnglandMedical Center Hospitals in 1988.The district judge also ruled that PeproTech, of Rocky Hill, N.J.,must pay legal expenses incurred by Cistron and the Massachusettsuniversities, and pay Cistron interest on profits lost since 1990. HalSmith, a spokesman for Cistron, told BioWorld that figure will total"several hundreds of thousands of dollars."Smith said Cistron has revenues of about $1 million per year, mostlyfrom sales to the research market. PeproTech sells recombinantproteins to the research market. PeproTech President RobertGoldman told BioWorld he's have no comment on the case.Cistron has a separate IL-1b-related lawsuit ongoing againstImmunex Corp., of Seattle. Both companies have patents claimingthe DNA sequence that encodes the 17,000-Dalton fragment of IL-1b. The trial date is set for June 26, 1995, Smith said. _ Jim Shrine
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