MedChem Products Inc. of Woburn, Mass., said Thursday thatthe U.S. District Court in Boston consented to a patent suitsettlement by which MedChem is to pay $12 million to KabiPharmacia AB of Uppsala, Sweden.

Pharmacia had sued MedChem and other companies, alleginginfringement of its patent for purified hyaluronic acid (HA).Pharmacia, which obtains HA from rooster combs, dominatesthe $100 million market for ophthalmic uses of HA.

MedChem also agreed to sell to its distributor, Iolab Corp., HAproducts that replace inner eye fluids. MedChem is looking fora partner to develop orthopedic applications of HA, said DanielE. Geffken, MedChem's vice president for finance.

Although MedChem also isolates HA from rooster combs,Genzyme Corp. of Boston makes it using genetic engineeringmethods. Pharmacia also sued Genzyme and its marketingpartner, Alcon Laboratories Inc., Chesapeake Biologicals Inc.and its partner, Allergan Inc. Genzyme's genetically engineeredHA is being clinically tested for healing surgical wounds, andthe company hopes to start trials this year of HA as areplacement for synovial fluid of joints. -- Carol Ezzell

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