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Trimeris says target of Novartis suit
 
 
  November 27, 2007
 
NEW YORK-Trimeris Inc. said it is the target of a patent infringement suit by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Inc. related to manufacture and sale of HIV fusion inhibitor Fuzeon.
 
FUZEON is an innovative HIV fusion inhibitor that was approved in 2003, having been developed by Roche in collaboration with the Company. Since its approval, FUZEON has become an important option for the growing number of treatment-experienced HIV patients who have become resistant to other medicines used to treat HIV. Novartis does not currently provide any antiretroviral products for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
 
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Trimeris said it was informed Nov. 20 that Novartis filed suit against Hoffman-La Roche Inc., Roche Laboratories Inc., Roche Colorado Corp., and F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. and the company alleging infringement of an HIV-related Novartis patent.
 
Roche and Trimeris haven't yet been served in the patent suit. Fuzeon was approved in 2003, having been developed by Roche in collaboration with Trimeris for treatment-experienced HIV patients who have become resistant to other medicines.
 
A check of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows that the patent in question is for an "antigenic composition comprising an HIV gag or env polypeptide" - in layman's terms, a way to stimulate the body's immune system to fight HIV. Novartis filed for the patent in 1995, but it wasn't granted until Oct. 23, according to the patent office.
 
Novartis does not currently provide any antiretroviral products for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
 
Morrisville, N.C.-based Trimeris said the patent at issue was granted to Novartis about one month ago. Roche and Trimeris are currently reviewing a copy of the complaint, which was obtained from a third party, and will respond to the issues raised "in due course."
 
 
 
 
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