It is not a big secret that antisense therapeutics companies ISIS and Santaris are fierce competitors. Today, ISIS filed an unusual, because rather aggressive lawsuit against Santaris Pharma that alleges the Danish company to be selling to the industry technology that is covered by at least two of
Under the Research Exemption doctrine, the result of Merck vs Integra, it is generally assumed that patented technologies can be used for research purposes quite broadly as long as product, in this case drugs, are not marketed. Without this safe harbor, much of the preclinical pharmaceutical research and academic research would be a legal nightmare.
Nevertheless, ISIS believes this standard does not apply here, because Santaris in a way is selling
My impression is that Santaris’ LNA-based antisense compounds are more potent than
I don’t want to speculate whether Santaris in fact makes use of technology covered by
Post-scriptum (9 October, 2011): On October 7, Exiqon and Santaris on October 7, 2011, settled their legal differences that resulted from Santaris suing Exiqon for selling LNA-based reagents that were used for the development of drugs incorporating LNAs,,,and thus would not fall under the Research Exemption- an ironic twist of fate. In the settlement, Exiqon paid Santaris a minimal amount. It is difficult to conclude from this anything about the outcome of the ISIS-Santaris litigation.