Genentech Inc. said Tuesday that The Wellcome FoundationLtd. and Sandoz Pharma Ltd. have separately licensed rightsunder a basic Genentech patent covering recombinant chimericimmunoglobulins and the manufacturing methods to makethem.
Wellcome and Sandoz licensed rights under U.S. patent No.4,816,567 to develop antibodies that bind to specific antigens.The antigens being developed by each company weren'tdisclosed. Genentech of South San Francisco, Calif., will receiveroyalties on products developed.
The licenses are part of a program Genentech announced in late1990 to grant a limited number of co-exclusive licenses forantibodies directed toward select antigens.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Patent Office declared an interferencebetween a related pending Genentech patent application andpatent No. 4,816,397 issued to Celltech Ltd. The pendingGenentech patent application would provide broaderprotection, covering the coexpression of immunoglobulin chainsincluding, but not limited to, chimeric ones.
"If Celltech is favored, we would still have some coverageunder the issued patent, but it wouldn't be as extensive," saidGenentech spokesman Jack Murphy.
Genentech shares (NYSE:GNE) closed down 63 cents on Tuesdayat $31.25. -- KB
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