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Business Briefing / BIOTECH

Amgen sued by university over patent

September 10, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Amgen Inc., the world's largest biotechnology company, was sued by the University of Iowa over claims that the arthritis drug Enbrel and the colon cancer treatment Vectibix are made using a technique patented by the school.

The company, based in Thousand Oaks, has refused to license the technology "despite diligent efforts" to reach an agreement, the university said in a complaint filed in federal court in Davenport, Iowa.

Enbrel, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, generated $1.69 billion in U.S. sales for Amgen in the year's first six months, and Vectibix had sales of $57 million in the period, the company said.

The University of Iowa said that it had received millions of dollars in royalties from the two patents and that it wanted money from Amgen as well.

Amgen spokesman David Polk had no immediate comment.

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