jiawangkun /
14 October 2016Americas

MIT wins patent case against Shire at Federal Circuit

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has succeeded in a patent infringement case against Shire Pharmaceuticals.

Yesterday, October 13, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that MIT’s patents were valid and infringed by Shire.

Shire appealed against the district court’s ruling.

MIT alleged infringement of US patent numbers 5,770,193 and 5,759,830, which protect biodegradable, synthetic matrices that provide support for cell growth and enhance the formation of blood vessels of the growing cell mass after implantation.

The ‘193 and ‘830 patents claim “three-dimensional, synthetic, biodegradable structures for growing tissue for vascularised organs as well as methods for creating those structures”.

MIT filed a complaint against Shire in 2013 in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleging that Shire’s sale of its Dermagraft product infringes claims of the ‘193 and ‘830 patents.

Dermagraft is used to treat foot ulcers that have been present for at least six weeks in patients with diabetes.

According to MIT, Shire uses a 3D, synthetic, biodegradable “scaffold” to grow vascularised organ tissue.

In the dispute, Shire argued that the district court erred in interpreting the term “vascularised organ tissue” simply as “vascularised tissue from an organ”, and that the term “cells derived from a vascularised tissue” encompasses “at least some cells derived from skin”.

Shire also challenged the district court’s ruling that the term “three-dimensional” is not indefinite.

A spokesperson for Shire said: "While Shire disagrees and is disappointed with the US Court of Appeals affirmation of the US District Court ruling, given that the patents asserted by MIT expired in 2013, Shire is confident that any back damages in this case will be limited."

The spokesperson added that Shire had acquired Dermagraft through its purchase of Advanced BioHealing in 2011, and as of 2014, no longer owns, produces or sells Dermagraft.

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