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Regeneron & Bayer v Genentech [2012] EWHC 657

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  22 March 2012

 

Regeneron and Bayer issued revocation and non-infringement proceedings against Genentech in relation to its patent for the use of VEGF antagonists to treat non-neoplastic diseases characterised by excessive angiogenesis. The patent was alleged to be anticipated or obvious over a paper which disclosed an antagonist to VEGF and which stated that the antagonist may have therapeutic potential. The patent was also alleged to be insufficient on numerous bases, including that the patent did not enable the invention across the scope of all the claimed diseases. The Judge rejected the novelty attack because the publication did not clearly and unambiguously teach the claimed therapeutic effect. The patent was held to be inventive over the prior art because the publication expressed no “concluded view” as to which (if any) of the available growth factors could be used for therapeutic purposes. The patent was held to teach a principle of general application and the attacks based on insufficiency also failed. The Judge held that the Claimants’ new treatment for age-related macular degeneration of the eye infringed the patent.

The judgment was appealed by the Claimants; the judgment from the Court of Appeal is pending.  Richard Meade QC and Mark Chacksfield acted for Regeneron; Michael Tappin QC and Isabel Jamal acted for Genentech.