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Sigma-Aldrich and Oxford BioMedica Win Key Ruling in Open Biosystems Patent Infringement Dispute

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sigma-Aldrich(TM) (Nasdaq: SIAL), a life science company dedicated to providing state-of-the-art chemical and biotechnology products to the world's researchers, and Oxford BioMedica (LSE: OXB), a leading gene therapy company, announced today that they received a key order confirming the strength and validity of intellectual property owned by Oxford BioMedica and licensed exclusively in the research field to Sigma-Aldrich. The ruling was part of the construction of patent claim terms in the patent infringement suit brought against Open Biosystems, Inc. The lawsuit, which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, alleges that Open Biosystems infringes U.S. Patent Nos. 6,924,123 and 7,056,699 entitled Lentiviral LTR Deleted Vector, which are owned by Oxford BioMedica and exclusively licensed to Sigma-Aldrich for research use, by selling, among other products, Open Biosystems' Lentiviral shRNAmir Library. In his order U.S. District Judge Charles A. Shaw concluded "that the constructions of the disputed terms and phrases proposed by plaintiff are correct."

David Smoller, President, Research Biotechnology Business Unit of Sigma-Aldrich said: "We are gratified and very pleased that the Court has adopted Sigma's and Oxford's definitions of all disputed claim terms in this case. This Order reinforces Sigma's belief that the Oxford Biomedica patents are "core patents" in the RNA-interference field, and validates Sigma's decision to license these patents and make other significant investments in creating a comprehensive portfolio of intellectual property that allows our customers to use this extraordinary technology without fear of interference or unfair competition. We will continue to vigorously defend Oxford's extraordinary inventions and Sigma's investment in this valuable intellectual property."

Peter Nolan, SVP Commercial Development at Oxford BioMedica said, "I am delighted with this Order, which validates Oxford BioMedica's patents and strengthens our position in this field." Oxford BioMedica's LentiVector system has broad applications in gene delivery and can be used to deliver shRNA-encoding DNA to cells to enable RNA Interference (RNAi) experiments. Based on discoveries by Oxford Biomedica's Drs. Susan and Alan Kingsman and others, scientists are now able to safely use modified lentiviruses as vectors, which enable RNAi to be effectively utilized as a research tool to unlock the secrets of the genetic code. As stated in the Court's Order, the viral vector developed by the Kingsmans' is expected to be useful as a "smart bomb" to safely "deliver new genetic material into specific cells, such as cells that do not divide or that divide slowly," giving the delivery of genes that produce dopamine into a Parkinson's disease patient's brain cells, as an example.

"Sigma believes this technology holds huge promise to better understand the human genome and to, ultimately, help devise techniques to defeat and diminish longstanding misery-causing diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's," said Smoller.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceutical and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 36 countries and has 7,800 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at

About Oxford BioMedica: Oxford BioMedica is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of novel gene-based therapeutics with a focus on oncology and neurotherapy. The Company was established in 1995 as a spin out from Oxford University, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Oxford BioMedica has core expertise in gene delivery, as well as in-house clinical, regulatory and manufacturing know-how. The Company is underpinned by over 80 patent families, which represent one of the broadest patent estates in the field. The Company has a staff of approximately 80 split between its main facilities in Oxford and its wholly owned subsidiary, BioMedica Inc, in San Diego, California. Corporate partners include Sanofi-Aventis for TroVax and Wyeth for the targeted antibody therapy. The Company also has corporate collaborations with MolMed and Virsys. Technology licensees include Biogen Idec, Merck & Co., GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. Further information is available at

Cautionary Statement: This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Companies' current expectations regarding future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including the success of the Companies' research strategy, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies and the uncertainties related to the regulatory process.

SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich
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