Danish hospital Rigshospitalet accuses Shire-NPS and Takeda Pharmaceuticals of infringing 19 patents relating to treatment of short bowel syndrome with colon-in-continuity using GLP-2 receptor antagonists. Short bowel syndrome is a condition where a person cannot absorb sufficient nutrients due to insufficient small intenstinal volume.
Rigshospitalet says that the defendants’ Gattex® product infringes these patents, and claims that the drug has brought in more than $2 billion in revenues to the defendants. The inventions were made as part of a clinical trial that was sponsored by NPS Allelix Corporation, which was then a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shire-NPS. Rigshospitalet further asserts that an agreement between the inventors and NPS Allelix clearly and unequivocally provided that Rigshospitalet would own any intellectual property resulting from the study, with Shire-NPS having a one-year option to obtain a worldwide, exclusive, royalty-bearing license to any such IP. After making the discovery that led to the subject patents, the inventors filed a manuscript for publication in the scientific journal Gut. Just before that article was to publish, however, Rigshospitalet says that Shire-NPS submitted a near-final draft of the article as a provisional patent application, not naming the inventors and not notifying them or Rigshospitalet that the provisional was being filed. Shire-NPS now has almost 30 U.S. and foreign issued patents that claim priority to the provisional application. Rigshospitalet brings claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, fraudulent nondisclosure, conversion, and unfair and deceptive trade practices under 93A. In addition, Rigshospitalet seeks correction of inventorship and transfer of ownership of the asserted patents (all of which are presently owned by Shire-NPS), and brings counts for infringement of each of the subject patents.
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