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Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Prometheus, Upholds the Patentability of Its Claims for Methods of Thiopurine Metabolite Testing
Date:9/17/2009

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Prometheus Laboratories Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical and diagnostic company, today announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favor of Prometheus in a dispute over the validity of its patents that cover the methods for a diagnostic test that enables physicians to optimize ongoing dosing of thiopurines to reach and maintain desired therapeutic levels (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,355,623 and 6,680,302).

The patents were challenged by Mayo Clinic and Mayo's medical laboratory division on several grounds. The Federal Court ruling not only reversed the judgment of the district court, but also remanded the case to the district court with express instructions to deny Mayo's motion for summary judgment, which alleged that the patents' claims did not describe patentable subject matter.

"This clear-cut ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit did not simply remand but completely reversed the judgment of the U.S. District Court," said Joseph M. Limber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Prometheus. "Prometheus is committed to developing and commercializing innovative diagnostics and other products to help physicians improve patient lives. As a key element in enabling this strategy, we have historically taken the strong position that we will vigorously defend any intellectual property rights that we own or license, and we will continue to do the same going forward."

PROMETHEUS(R) Thiopurine Metabolites helps keep patients' drug metabolite levels within an optimal therapeutic range, thereby increasing the probability of a positive response and potentially reducing the need for other medications. Thiopurine metabolites testing helps identify some of the reasons for treatment failure and monitor for potential toxicity before it occurs.

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