Celsis seeks injunction against Invitrogen regarding LiverPool patent

Complaint alleges infringement of one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,604,929 (the ‘929 patent)

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BALTIMORE—Celsis In Vitro Inc. (Celsis IVT) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Invitrogen Corp. and CellzDirect Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago and has moved for a preliminary injunction. The complaint alleges that certain processes and methods performed by CellzDirect associated with its in vitro drug testing services and its pooled cryopreserved hepatocyte products infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,604,929 (the '929 patent). The complaint also alleges that Invitrogen is selling these infringing products and services, as well as inducing infringement of the '929 patent, and seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.

The '929 patent relates to processes and methods for producing cryopreserved hepatocytes. In general, this technology combines hepatocytes from multiple donors to create large lots with targeted activity levels, the result of which is a product that speeds up decision making and reduces the time and cost of drug research. Since 2005, Celsis IVT has used this technology to create its unique LiverPool products for drug discovery research.  

According to Celsis, "Major pharmaceutical companies around the world have incorporated these LiverPool products into their standard research protocols. Research conducted with LiverPool has confirmed its outstanding efficacy as a research tool in numerous ADME-Tox assays, including metabolic stability and clearance studies."

This suit follows a related action by Celsis, about six weeks earlier, in which the company reached a settlement agreement with XenoTech LLC, Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd., and Sekisui Medical Co. Ltd. in a similar patent infringement lawsuit involving the '929 patent.

"Advancements must be protected and respected if we are to further the cause of cost-effective drug discovery," says Jay LeCoque, CEO of Celsis. "We are extremely disappointed that we have been forced into this litigation, but the predatory pricing employed by Invitrogen and CellzDirect suggests a serious attempt to erode our patent-protected market position for the LiverPool product line. These tactics are lowering, as well as undermining, the perceived value of new product innovations and inventions. We remain hopeful that the defendants will realize the serious impact of such a precedent on the entire life sciences industry, and that they will work with us to properly resolve this issue."

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