shutterstock_1291147162_ken_wolter
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com
3 October 2019AmericasRory O'Neill

Abbott sued for patent infringement over infant probiotic

Evolve BioSystems and the University of California (UC) have jointly sued Abbott Laboratories for patent infringement over a soon-to-be-launched probiotic product.

In the complaint, filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois yesterday, September 30, the parties claimed that Abbott’s forthcoming “Similac Probiotic Tri-blend” will infringe a UC patent that is licensed exclusively to Evolve (US number 8,197,872).

Evolve’s founders developed their Evivo probiotic (B. infantis EVC001), which promotes the growth of the B. infantis bacterium in newborns.

The product is based on research Evolve’s founders carried out at UC’s Davis campus, which they said discovered the “crucial role” of B. infantis in newborn gut health.

Evivo is combined with the administration of a prebiotic containing certain “human milk oligosaccharides,” which the complaint said are “essentially” long chains of sugars which are necessary for the establishment of B. infantis in the gut.

A section of the complaint, which was redacted from a copy released by Evolve and UC, said that Abbott entered into discussions with Evolve about “shared business opportunities between the two companies, whereby Abbott might co-promote Evolve’s Evivo along with Abbott’s Similac line of infant care products”.

According to the unredacted complaint, these discussions “ensued for more than a year and seemed cordial”, before rumours emerged that Abbott was preparing to launch its own competing probiotic.

According to the plaintiffs, Abbott’s competing “Similac Probiotic Tri-blend” is set to launch within two months and infringes UC’s ‘872 patent covering Evivo.

Another section of the lawsuit which was redacted from the version released by the plaintiffs states that, according to their information, Abbott’s product will be supplied only for administration to premature infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICU).

“As Abbott’s B. infantis product is intended for administration to premature infants in the NICU, the product must be combined with such synthetic, prebiotic milk products resulting in infringement,” the suit claimed.

UC and Evolve are seeking a declaratory judgment that Abbott’s imminent launch of its own probiotic infringes the ‘872 patent, as well as damages and attorneys’ fees.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at atapping@newtonmedia.co.uk


More on this story

Americas
26 March 2020   Medical device maker Abbott has secured a series of case-ending sanctions against a wholesaler, bringing the five-year-long dispute to a close.

More on this story

Americas
26 March 2020   Medical device maker Abbott has secured a series of case-ending sanctions against a wholesaler, bringing the five-year-long dispute to a close.

More on this story

Americas
26 March 2020   Medical device maker Abbott has secured a series of case-ending sanctions against a wholesaler, bringing the five-year-long dispute to a close.