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Add One More Defendant to OGT s List: UK Firm Sues Motorola Over eSensor Biochip


Add Motorola to the list of companies that UK-based Oxford Gene Technology is suing on claims of patent infringement.

OGT, the Oxford-based company created in 1995 to license and manage the patents of microarray pioneer Sir Edwin Southern of Oxford University, in December filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola in the US District Court of the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), BioArray News has learned.

In December, in the US District Court in Wilmington, Del., OGT filed one suit against Nanogen, and a second against a wide net of microarray-related manufacturers, including: Genomic Solutions of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Axon Instruments of Melbourne, Australia; Mergen of San Leandro, Calif.; BD Biosciences Clontech of Palo Alto, Calif.; PerkinElmer of Wellesley, Mass.; and BioDiscovery of Marina Del Rey, Calif. Mergen has filed a counter-suit of while Axon and Harvard Bioscience settled (BioArray News, 6/25/2003).

The suit challenges Motorola over its eSensor electronic arrays but not the CodeLink microarray platform, which it sold to Amersham Biosciences for $20 million a year ago (BioArray News 8/2/2002).

Motorola and Oxford Gene Technology declined comment.

The Motorola eSensor DNA Detection System uses the binding properties of DNA and RNA to assemble an electronic circuit element that creates a detectable electronic signal when a target is present. According to the company website, Motorola Life Sciences has developed an eSensor Cytochrome P450 DNA detection system to detect 10 mutations belonging to the 2D6, 2C9 and 2C19 genes for Cytochrome P450 enzymes. The company provided 500 chips and a system to Sanofi-Synthelabo of Malvern, Pa., in 2001 for use in Phase I clinical trial testing.

The eSensor system was developed by Clinical Micro Sensors, a Pasadena, Calif., company spun off from CalTech and purchased by Motorola in a $300 million deal in June 2000.

When it sold the CodeLink business, Motorola said it was examining strategic options for the eSensor business.

In an archived statement, issued on the sale of the CodeLink business, the company said the eSensor operation, would continue to operate out of Pasadena: “The company is evaluating a number of business models and financing options to ensure a successful market launch. We believe the eSensor DNA detection technology has significant potential to make DNA testing a routine part of medicine and industry,” Jon Faiz Kayyem, CTO for Motorola Life Sciences, said in the company statement.



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