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Waters, Oxford GlycoSciences, MDS


$52.6M Judgment UPheld Against Waters

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week upheld a $52.6 million patent infringement award against Micromass UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Waters. Waters is unlikely to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court, according to Brian Murphy, the company’s corporate communications manager, and has set aside the money to pay the judgment last year.

In March 2002, a jury awarded Applera and MDS of Canada, $47.5 million in damages, finding that a Micromass business unit had infringed on US Patent No. 4,963,736, “Mass spectrometer and method and improved ion transmission,” held by Applied Biosystems and MDS. A Federal District Court then tacked on an additional award of $5.1 million in pre-judgment interest and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the sale or import into the US of Micromass’ Quattro Ultima triple-quadrupole instrument.

Waters, which took the infringing instruments off the US market last year, plans to debut a replacement for the Quattro Ultima at ASMS in June and is still developing a new MALDI source for its Q-TOF, Murphy said.


OGS Postpones Shareholder, Court Meetings

Oxford GlycoSciences said last week that it has postponed the court meeting and the extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders.

Shareholders were expected to vote at the meeting, scheduled for March 11, on the proposed merger with Cambridge Antibody Technology. Celltech has made a rival bid to acquire OGS.

OGS’s board said in a statement that postponing the meetings will “allow adequate time to explore options for maximizing value.”


MDS Reports Growing Revenues in Q1 2003

MDS of Toronto reported CA$440 million ($297 million) in revenues for the first quarter of 2003, a five -percent increase over the same period a year ago.

Revenues in its Life Sciences sector, which includes MDS Sciex, grew by 10 percent year-over-year to CA$263 million ($177.5 million), and analytical instrument sales grew by 41 percent. The company noted the strong sales performance of it’s API 4100, Elan, Qstar, and Qtrap instruments among its high-end mass spectrometers.

The operating loss of MDS Proteomics (which is 87 percent owned by MDS) was CA$10 million ($6.7 million) for the quarter, including CA$ 3 million ($2 million) of depreciation and amortization. A contract with Cephalon “meets our needs until mid-2004," MDS said.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.