PerSeptive Biosystems Inc. on Thursday announced that it hassued Pharmacia Biotech Inc. and Sepracor Inc. for willfullyinfringing PerSeptive's patents covering the process ofperfusion chromatography and the manufacture and sale ofchromatography particles that permit high-speed, high-performance chromatography.

The lawsuit, which PerSeptive of Cambridge, Mass., filed in theU.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, seeks toprevent Pharmacia (a subsidiary of Procordia AB) and Sepracor(NASDAQ:SEPR) from manufacturing, using, importing or sellinginfringing media in the U.S.

PerSeptive's (NASDAQ:PBIO) suit also asks for punitivedamages.

The PerSeptive patents are numbers 5,019,270 and 5,228,989.According to PerSeptive, the former covers the basic process ofperfusion chromatography, while the latter covers permeablestructures that allow perfusion chromatography to occur.

Pharmacia Biotech of Piscataway, N.J., announced Wednesdaythat it filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey toobtain a ruling that sales of its new high-performancechromatography products -- Resource Q and S -- do notinfringe the PerSeptive patents. Pharmacia's suit also requeststhat the court find the two PerSeptive patents invalid anduninforceable.

And Sepracor of Marlborough, Mass., which said it learned ofthe suit through the wire services, issued a statementcategorically denying that it infringes either of the PerSeptivepatents.

"Sepracor's HyperD media ... operate contrary to the mechanismof perfusion chromatography," said William Rich, generalmanager of Sepracor's bioporcess division.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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