Isis Pharmaceuticals has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Santaris Pharma A/S and Santaris Pharma A/S Corp. in the United States District Court of the Southern District of California. Isis’ infringement suit against Santaris is based upon Santaris’ activities providing antisense drugs and antisense drug discovery services to several pharmaceutical companies. As alleged in the complaint, these activities are not protected under the exemption from patent infringement for drug development.
Isis is the leading antisense company. Through its commitment to innovation in antisense technology, Isis has generated a large patent estate that provides the Company with extensive protection for its drugs and technology. Isis is the owner or exclusive licensee of approximately 1,550 issued patents worldwide that cover all facets of antisense drugs. One portion of Isis’ patent estate includes patents covering basic oligonucleotide chemical modifications, drug designs that optimize therapeutic properties of antisense drugs, and the use of antisense compounds in drug discovery. In the filed complaint, Isis alleges infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,326,199, entitled “Gapped 2′ Modified Oligonucleotides” and U.S. Patent No. 6,066,500, entitled “Antisense Modulation of Beta Catenin Expression” as the basis of its action.
“Since Isis’ inception, our commitment has been to create a platform technology that has the power to change drug discovery and the treatment of disease. We have actively protected our inventions resulting in a substantial patent estate. A key element of our business is to make our patented technology available to researchers and drug developers who want to work in the antisense field. This strategy has resulted in a broad constellation of collaborative relationships with large and small companies advancing antisense drugs and the antisense technology platform,” said B. Lynne Parshall, COO and CFO of Isis. “A necessary component of our strategy is that we vigorously pursue infringement of our intellectual property. The exemption from patent infringement for drug development was created to encourage rapid introduction of generic medicines. We allege Santaris’ activities are not protected by this exemption and that case law affirms our position.”