San Diego Based Isis Pharmaceuticals Sues Santaris Pharma Over Patent Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on September 27, 2011

California Patent InfringementSan Diego – Isis Pharmaceuticals announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Santaris Pharma A/S and Santaris Pharma A/S Corp. in the United States District Court for the Southern California District of California. In its complaint, Isis alleges that Santaris’ activities providing antisense drugs and antisense drug discovery services to several pharmaceutical companies violates Isis’ antisense biotech patents.

Isis Pharmaceuticals is currently the leader in antisense technology. Antisense drug therapy is a form of treatment for infections and genetic disorders and is currently being researched to treat a multitude of cancers, diabetes, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), asthma, inflammatory arthritis, and muscular dystrophy. Through its work with the antisense technology, Isis has built a large patent portfolio and is the owner or exclusive licensee of approximately 1,550 issued patents worldwide related to antisense drug therapies.

“Santaris Pharma does not believe the allegations in the complaint by Isis Pharmaceuticals have any merit,” stated Bolette Wildt, vice president and general counsel for the Danish company. He added, “Santaris is in the process of reviewing the allegations with its legal group.”

Isis is accusing Santaris of infringing on patents that cover the chemical modification of short genetic strands known as oligonucleotides, a drug technology that enhances the therapeutic properties of antisense drugs and the use of antisense compounds in drug discovery.

In a statement from B. Lynne Parshall, Isis’ chief operating officer and chief financial officer, she said, “A necessary component of our strategy is that we vigorously pursue infringement of our intellectual property.” Parshall went on to say that Santaris’ antisense activities aren’t protected by a special patent infringement exemption that was created to encourage and accelerate the development of genetic drug therapies.

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