News of the WeekPatent Disputes

Biotech Giants Butt Heads Over Cancer Drug

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Science  30 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5475, pp. 2303
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5475.2303

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On 8 June, Chiron challenged Genentech's patent on an important new breast cancer drug called Herceptin and sued for a share of the profits. Chiron's 4-page complaint, filed in the federal district court in Sacramento, California, accuses Genentech of "willful, wanton, and deliberate" infringement of one of its patents. The case is being closely watched in the biotech industry not just because of the money at stake but also because it involves one of the first therapies to emerge from the burgeoning field of cancer genetics