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Valentis Wins Patent, Starts IP Suit, Says Goodbye to Roche

NEW YORK, April 24-Valentis subsidiary PolyMASC Pharmaceuticals has received a European patent for its PEGylated liposome technology yesterday, the company said.


The company also announced infringement proceedings in Germany against three Schering Plough subsidiaries based on the sales of Caelyx, a PEGylated liposome product for Kaposi's sarcoma and refractory ovarian cancer. 


"We believe the grant of this European patent further substantiates the value of this patent family," said CEO Benjamin McGraw III in a statement. "We continue to believe in the importance of protecting our intellectual property, and have therefore found it necessary to file infringement proceedings in Germany."


In April 2001, PolyMASC filed proceedings against ALZA Corporation for the manufacture and sale of Caelyx and its U.S. equivalent, Doxil.


Valentis also said that its alliance with Roche is now officially terminated, following poor Phase II results of an IL-2 based cancer therapeutic in December 2001.


In January, the company announced that it would eliminate up to 45 jobs and shutter its research labs in The Woodlands, Texas, in an effort to cut costs.

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