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Deltagen Countersues Lexicon Genetics for Antitrust Violations

NEW YORK, Nov 14 – Deltagen filed a Federal antitrust countersuit against Lexicon Genetics Tuesday, in connection with the patent infringement lawsuit Lexicon has filed against it in the U.S. District court for the District of Delaware.

Deltagen is claiming Lexicon obtained a fraudulently procured patent for knockout mouse technology, then sued Deltagen for patent infringement, so Lexicon could illegally monopolize the knockout mouse market. Deltagen is seeking to recoup lost profits and legal fees, and is asking that the court triple the amount of damages against Lexicon.

The patent at issue is ‘215, which Lexicon licensed from Genpharm, a subsidiary of Medarex. Deltagen is asserting that Genpharm knew there was prior art—a previous and similar invention that would bar Genpharm from getting the patent, but that Genpharm withheld this information from the Patent Office in order to get the patent, and that Lexicon knew about this fraud when it licensed the patent.

Deltagen is also claiming Lexicon conspired with Genpharm to monopolize the knockout mouse market.

If Deltagen can prove Lexicon obtained the patent by fraud, it will be unenforceable and Lexicon’s claim against Deltagen, originally filed May 24, will be thrown out.

Currently, Lexicon has signed agreements for its Omnibank Knockout mouse gene database with American Home Products, Boeringer Ingleheim Pharmaceuiticals, Searle, Organon, Dupont, and Zymogenetics. Deltagen has licensed its similar Deltabase to GlaxoWellcome.

Lexicon has also sublicensed its knockout mouse technology to Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Roche Bioscience, Schering-Plough Research Institute, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, Amgen, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, American Home Products, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, and Biogen.

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