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UPDATE: Deltagen Responds to Lexicon Genetics Patent Claim

NEW YORK, Oct. 16 - Mammalian functional genomics company Deltagen said Monday that Lexicon Genetics' most recent patent infringement claim against it lacks merit.

Lexicon filed suit against Menlo Park, Calif.-based Deltagen Friday alleging that the technology Deltagen uses to produce gene knockout animals willfully infringes on four patents Lexicon holds for methods for producing " knockout" cells and animals. This claim follows a May 24 patent infringement lawsuit covering a different aspect of this technology.

The patented methods at issue in this claim use the " positive- negative selection" technique of genetically modifying mouse embryonic stem cells.

But Deltagen contended its own methods for producing knockout cells and mice are distinct from Lexicon's.  

" Deltagen does not use positive-negative selection vectors and does not infringe on these patents," said William Matthews, CEO of Deltagen. " We are disappointed that Lexicon failed to discuss this matter with us prior to filing this lawsuit."

Lexicon's sub licensees under these patents include Pfizer, Roche Bioscience, Schering-Plough Research Institute, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, Amgen, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, American Home Products, DuPont Pharmaceuticals and Biogen.

" We intend to enforce our rights under these patents and continue our strategy of building and protecting our substantial intellectual property portfolio in functional genomics," Lexicon Genetics' president and CEO Arthur T. Sands said in a statement Friday.

Deltagen entered into an agreement with Glaxo Wellcome in September to generate standard and conditional knockout animals for Glaxo Wellcome's genes.


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