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Enzo Sues Abbott, BD, and Hologic Claiming Patent Infringement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Enzo Life Sciences this week sued Abbott, Becton Dickinson, and Hologic claiming those companies infringe Enzo's patent covering a method of modifying nucleotides for use as probes.

In three separate lawsuits filed in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, Enzo alleges the companies infringe US Patent No. 6,992,180 titled "Oligo-or polynucleotides comprising phosphate-moiety labeled nucleotides," which was issued in January 2006 and assigned to Enzo.

Its complaint against Abbott Laboratories and Abbott Molecular claims that Abbott products including TaqMan probes, as well as RealTime HBV assays, infringe the '180 patent.

Enzo also alleges in a separate lawsuit that BD's molecular beacon probes, Scorpions probes, BG GeneOhm StaphSr assays, and BD Max GBS assays infringe the patent. BD acquired molecular diagnostics firm GeneOhm Sciences in 2006.

Lastly, Enzo is suing Hologic claiming Hologic's products based on its Invader technology, including Cervista HPV HR, Cervista HPV 16/18, and InPlex CF products, infringe the '180 patent.

According to the patent abstract, the invention pertains to a nucleotide comprising a phosphate moiety, sugar moiety, and a pyrimidine, purine, or 7-deazapurine moiety. Also provided is an oligo- or polynucleotide "comprising at least one such phosphate-moiety-labeled nucleotide, and other compositions, including those wherein a polypeptide is terminally ligated or attached to the oligo- or polynucleotide."

The phosphate-moiety-labeled nucleotides can be used to detect analytes and as therapeutic agents, according to the abstract.

Enzo is seeking monetary damages, as well as a preliminary and permanent injunction against all three firms from further infringement of the patent.

In an e-mail to GenomeWeb Daily News, Scott Stoffel, a spokesman for Abbott, said that the company "doesn't believe its product infringes this patent and will defend itself accordingly."

A spokesperson for BD said that the company has received the lawsuit and is reviewing it and had no further comment. Hologic did not respond to a request for comment.

The latest litigation follows similar lawsuits filed by Enzo in late January against Roche, Life Technologies, and Gen-Probe alleging those three firms infringe the '180 patent.

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