Microbix Sues Novartis for Infringement of its VIRUSMAX® Patent In Europe
TORONTO July 10, 2014 — Microbix Biosystems Inc. (TSX: MBX), an innovator of biological products and technologies, announced today it has commenced a new patent litigation in the Court of Dusseldorf, Germany against Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, alleging infringement of its VIRUSMAX® patent in Europe. Microbix filed its first complaint against Novartis in the Eastern District of Texas on January 6, 2014, alleging infringement of its VIRUSMAX® patent in the United States.
Microbix successfully defended its European VIRUSMAX® patent against Novartis' Opposition at the European Patent Office in January 2014 when, following a hearing in Munich, the Office rendered a decision in favour of Microbix and confirmed that the VIRUSMAX® technology is a novel, useful and non-obvious invention. Novartis has now appealed that decision. Microbix was also granted patents for the VIRUSMAX® technology in twenty-one countries between 2006 and 2011.
Microbix' VIRUSMAX® technology is used for increasing virus yields in egg-based vaccine manufacture. The patent application was first published internationally in 2004. At that time, governments, the World Health Organization and public health authorities worldwide expressed growing concern about limited global vaccine manufacturing capacity and supply, especially in light of a potential influenza pandemic.
An independent study published in the Journal of Vaccine in 2007 reported that the application of VIRUSMAX® technology led to a significant increase in flu virus production in eggs. These trials used methods comparable to those employed in seasonal influenza vaccine manufacture. The Company has also demonstrated substantial yield increases over conventional manufacturing processes for a number of influenza vaccine strains using its technology.
Vaughn Embro-Pantalony, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "Microbix discovered the presence of large quantities of flu virus in eggs that was previously unrecognized by the industry. VIRUSMAX® is the innovative manufacturing process developed by Microbix for the vaccine industry based on that discovery. Following the successful defense of our European patent in January 2014, we are taking this next step to enforce our intellectual property rights in Europe."
About Microbix Biosystems
Microbix Biosystems Inc. specializes in the development of biological solutions, including products for vaccine and diagnostics markets worldwide. The Company owns intellectual property for an approved biological drug, a vaccine technology and an animal reproduction technology. Established in 1988, Microbix is headquartered in Toronto.
Microbix' pipeline of innovative technologies and products includes LumiSort® semen sexing technology for the livestock industries, and Kinlytic®, a thrombolytic drug with several approved and potential applications including the treatment of life-threatening blood clots.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements including the risks associated with litigation, operations in foreign jurisdictions, foreign currency and exchange rate risk, and risks of raising capital on acceptable terms or at all. These statements reflect management's current estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations; they are not guarantees of future performance. The Company cautions that all forward looking information is inherently uncertain and that actual performance may be affected by a number of material factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control. Accordingly, actual future events, conditions and results may differ materially from the estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking information. All statements are made as of the date of this news release and the Company is under no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking information.
Please visit www.sedar.com for recent Microbix Biosystems Inc. filings on its pipeline products and financial information.
For further information:
Visit www.microbix.com or contact: Vaughn C. Embro-Pantalony, CEO, (905) 361-8910 (ext.350) or Charles Wallace, CFO, (905) 361-8910 (ext 255).