Samsung BioLogics wins suit to invalidate Lonza’s patent
Samsung BioLogics has won a lawsuit against Lonza, invalidating the Swiss pharmaceutical firm’s patent over a cell line technology, it said Tuesday.
The company said Korea’s Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board sided with Samsung BioLogics in an Aug. 29 ruling on the firm’s invalidation action filed against Lonza’s patent related to a carrier transferring a gene, developed for producing an antibody, into a cell line.
Samsung BioLogics initially filed the invalidation action with the tribunal July 3, 2017, and claimed the patent, dubbed “Mammalian Expression Vector Comprising the MCMV Promoter and First Intron of HCMV Major Immediate Early Gene,” posed an unfair obstacle to its and many biotech companies’ efforts to enter the emerging market.
Lonza, a global chemicals and biotechnology company based in Switzerland, is a leading contract development and manufacturing company, which develops mass production processes for laboratory level antibody drugs and manufactures them for commercial use.
Samsung BioLogics has been running a contract manufacturing business and has been making efforts to carry out contract development since 2017.
The tribunal decision came after nine opinion submissions over two years from both companies and a hearing, with Lonza desperate to defend its market share.
Not only Lonza, but other global bio firms are making efforts to retain their patents in emerging markets such as Korea, China and India, to maximize profits.
In its conclusion, the tribunal said: “Lonza’s patent does not possess novelty as it resembles previous technologies, and does not show creativity as it can be easily created by ordinary technicians based on previous technologies.”
Also, the tribunal said the technology’s patent was invalid in advanced markets, such as Europe, the U.S. and Japan, and that the patent was retained only in emerging markets, thus presenting obstacles to newcomers. Lonza has a month to appeal. “The company took the initiative to file a patent invalidation action to relieve Korean bio companies from the patent, allowing more freedom in research and development and promoting further growth in the Korean and greater bio industry,” a Samsung BioLogics official said.
Since entering the contract development business in 2017, Samsung BioLogics has quickly secured a track record by inventing, obtaining and maintaining various technologies related to cell line development.
As of September 2019, Samsung BioLogics has signed 34 contract development deals with clients such as Eutilex, GI Innovation, and ImmuneOncia.
“This significant victory in the patent invalidation case further ensures Samsung BioLogics’ continuing mission and focus on extending its cell line development portfolio as a contract development organization, thus providing end-to-end contract development and manufacturing services to its customers,” the official said.
Samsung BioLogics’ plant in Songdo, Incheon.