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Stratagene Refutes Third Wave s Patent-Infringement Lawsuit Over PCR Reagents

Stratagene said last week that a patent infringement lawsuit Third Wave filed against it on Wednesday is without merit.

“We are surprised that Third Wave would file this lawsuit before discussing with us the differences in the two companies’ technologies,” said Joseph Sorge, Stratagene’s chairman and CEO.

The patent infringement suit filed in US District Court in Madison, Wis., seeks a permanent injunction against Stratagene that would prevent the sale of the company’s probe-based quantitative PCR and RT-PCR reagents. It claims that Stratagene violates some of the more than 30 patents that protect Third Wave’s Invader products, which use invasive cleavage structure chemistry to analyze nucleic acids and infectious agents, as does Stratagene’s FullVelocity product line.

Third Wave previously won a similar suit filed against EraGen Biosciences of Madison, Wis. The suit was settled in the same US District Court and resulted in EraGen removing the products in question from the market.

Stratagene’s CEO said his company’s patents in the area of cleavage chemistry cover technologies that differ from Third Wave’s patented technologies.

“Stratagene does not include overlapping DNA molecules in its kits,” said Sorge. “In contrast, Stratagene’s Full Velocity technology benefits from the sensitivity advantages of PCR amplification, something not found in Third Wave’s Invader methods.”

Invader products account for most of Third Wave’s total revenue. For Stratagene, real-time PCR accounts for roughly 25 percent of Stratagene’s revenue; around 5 percent of that comes from RT-PCR reagents. FullVelocity products make up a fraction of the firm’s RT-PCR reagents.

— Mo Krochmal ([email protected]) Chris Womack of Pharmacogenomics Reporter contributed to this report.

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