VANCOUVER, July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANPI, TSX: ANP), a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company, announced that yesterday, the highest court of the United Kingdom, the House of Lords, confirmed in a precedent-setting decision the validity of one of Angiotech's patents related to its paclitaxel stent inventions. As Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, commented, "The decision represents a significant development in the United Kingdom patent law".
"We are pleased that the House of Lords entered final judgment in Angiotech's favor and view this outcome as further proof of the continued strength of our paclitaxel stent patent portfolio throughout the world," said Dr. Bill Hunter, President and CEO of Angiotech. "We remain committed to vigorously protecting our proprietary technologies and defending our intellectual property, and reaching supportive conclusion on this decision reaffirms this commitment," added Dr. Hunter.
The patent at issue was granted to Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. by the European Patent Office (the "EPO") on June 25, 1997. At the EPO, five different companies opposed the patent. After over nine years of legal battles their challenge proved unsuccessful and the validity of the patent was maintained. On February 1, 2005, Angiotech commenced suit against Conor Medsystems Inc. ("Conor") in the Netherlands. Conor responded by commencing proceedings in the UK to revoke the patent. Conor argued that, as of July 1993 (the priority date), the claims in the patent lacked inventive step (i.e., were obvious) under UK law.
Both the UK trial court and the UK Court of Appeal decided that the patent was invalid in view of several publications. Within the same time frame several courts in the Netherlands, following the approach of the EPO and concluded that Angiotech's claimed invention was inventive and not obvious in view of the same publications. Angiotech appealed the UK lower court decisions to the House of Lords seeking to resolve these inconsistent outcomes.
In his lead opinion upholding the validity of Angiotech's patent, Lord Hoffmann did not agree with the reasoning that the UK lower courts used in justifying revocation and instead agreed with the opinion of the Dutch Court. The House of Lords' unanimous decision reflects an important development in bringing uniformity to the interpretation of the European Patent Convention among the national courts of Europe and the European Patent Office.
Note on Forward Looking Statements:
Statements contained in this press release that are not based on historical fact, including without limitation statements containing the words "believes," "may," "plans," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipates," "intends," "expects" and similar expressions, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All such statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments with respect to our objectives and priorities for 2007 and beyond, our strategies or future actions, our targets, expectations for our financial condition and the results of, or outlook for, our operations, research development and product and drug development. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Page 1 of 2 Many such risks, uncertainties and other factors are taken into account as part of our assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements and include, among others, the following: general economic and business conditions, both nationally and in the regions in which we operate; market demand; technological changes that could impact our existing products or our ability to develop and commercialize future products; competition; existing governmental regulations and changes in, or the failure to comply with, governmental regulations; adverse results or unexpected delays in drug discovery and clinical development processes; decisions, and the timing of decisions, made by health regulatory agencies regarding approval of our technology and products; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities or consummate acquisitions; and any other factors that may affect performance. In addition, our business is subject to certain operating risks that may cause the actual results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this report to differ materially from our actual results. These operating risks include: our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; our ability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical development of our products; changes in business strategy or development plans; our failure to obtain patent protection for discoveries; loss of patent protection resulting from third party challenges to our patents; commercialization limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; our ability to obtain rights to technology from licensors; liability for patent claims and other claims asserted against us; our ability to obtain and enforce timely patent and other intellectual property protection for our technology and products; the ability to enter into, and to maintain, corporate alliances relating to the development and commercialization of our technology and products; market acceptance of our technology and products; our ability to successfully manufacture, market and sell our products; the continued availability of capital to finance our activities; our ability to continue to integrate into our business the operations of American Medical Instruments Holdings, Inc. ("AMI"); our ability to achieve the operational and other synergies and the other commercial or financial benefits expected as a result of the acquisition of AMI; and any other factors referenced in our annual information form and other filings with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities or the SEC.
Given these uncertainties, assumptions and risk factors, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. We disclaim any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus to reflect future results, events or developments.
CONTACT: Sage Baker, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (604) 221-6933, firstname.lastname@example.org; Elizabeth Sol, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (604) 221-6920, email@example.com
|SOURCE Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.|
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