Genentech's patent dispute with Hoffmann-La Roche overhuman growth hormone has been settled, the companiesannounced Tuesday.

As a result of the settlement, Genentech will license humangrowth hormone from Roche. Genentech declined to elaboratefurther on the terms.

The suit had become moot when Swiss-based Roche Ltd. bought60 percent of Genentech last year. "You're all part of the sameentity, so it doesn't make sense for one arm to sue the other,"said Genentech spokesman Mark McHarry.

A consent judgment to end the litigation was signed byGenentech of South San Francisco, Calif.; Hoffmann-La Roche,the Nutley, N.J., subsidiary of Roche, Ltd.; and the HormoneResearch Foundation of Seattle. The judgment was entered onMay 29.

The non-profit Seattle foundation had held a patent on thecomposition and production of human growth hormone producedby chemical synthesis from amino acids. In 1974 thefoundation licensed its patent to Hoffmann-La Roche.

Roche sued Genentech in 1986, claiming that Genentech'smanufacture and sale of its recombinant human growthhormones Protropin I and Protropin II infringed on Roche's U.S.Patent No. 3,853,833. "Synthetic human growth hormone"specified by the patent would include either chemicallysynthesized or recombinant hormone, Roche contended.

Genentech stock (NYSE:GNE) on Tuesday closed at $28.28, up 63cents.

-- Roberta Friedman Special to BioWorld

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