San Diego – Genentech filed suit against Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi Inc. on December 23, 2011 in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. In its complaint, Genentech alleges that Regeneron infringed on its patents with two products possibly containing an active ingredient called aflibercept. The first Regeneron product is called Eylea and is injected into the eye to treat neovascular (“wet”) age-related macular degeneration, a degenerative eye disorder. The second Regeneron product is called Zaltrap, used to treat colorectal cancer. Genentech claims Regeneron knowingly and willfully developed, marketed and sold these infringing products in the United States.
Several patents are involved in the case. The first two are U.S. Patent Numbers 6,383,486 and 6,897,294, both entitled “Inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor activity, their uses and processes for their production.” They were issued on May 7, 2002 and May 24, 2005, respectively, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The third is U.S. Patent Number 6,100,071, entitled “Receptors as novel inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor activity and processes for their Production,” issued on August 8, 2000 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The fourth is U.S. Patent Number 7,771,721, entitled “Using Chimeric Vascular Growth Factor Receptor Proteins. It was issued on August 10, 2010 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Regeneron collaborated with Avantis in 2003 to develop, market, and sell the compound involved in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Sanofi is the successor-in-interest to this agreement. On February 18, 2011, Regeneron sought FDA approval to market a product to treat colorectal cancer called Zaltrap that used a protein designed to prevent cell surface receptor interactions. That same day, the company filed a complaint against Genentech, seeking declaratory judgment on both the invalidity of Genentech’s patents and the non-infringement of Regeneron’s product. Genentech’s recent complaint is related to Regeneron’s initial lawsuit.
Genentech is one of the world’s leading biotechnology firms. It specializes in using genetic information to develop medications for the treatment of diseases. It is a South San Francisco-based company organized in Delaware. Regeneron is a biopharmaceutical company that develops, discovers, manufactures, and markets medicines for the treatment of medical conditions. It is a New York-based business.