Chiron Corp. has filed suit in U.S. District Court in San Franciscoalleging that two companies, Advanced ChemTech Inc. and SynPepCorp., have infringed upon patents covering Chiron's combinatoriallibrary technology.Chiron said two patents are involved, one for controlled synthesis ofpeptide libraries using mixing resins and the other for libraries of morethan 8,000 peptides.The company, in a press release Wednesday, said that prior to filing thelawsuit it alerted Advanced ChemTech and SynPep to Chiron's patentportfolio, but they did not seek licensing agreements nor did they agreeto stop infringing upon the patents.Advanced ChemTech, of Louisville, Ky., declined to comment both onChiron's lawsuit and a suit that Advanced ChemTech has filed in U.S.District Court in Kentucky related to Chiron's patent for synthesis ofpeptide libraries.Chi Yang, president of Dublin, Calif.-based SynPep, denied infringingupon any Chiron patents and said he was never contacted by Chiron.Yang said Thursday was the first time he heard about the issue."We issued a flyer a year ago saying we could do custom peptidesynthesis, but we have never provided any peptide library businesssince the company started in 1993," Yang said. "We are a very smallcompany. We want to find out why this mistake has been made." _Charles Craig

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