Fujisawa sued over stress agent patent

Pharmaceutical firm Fujisawa USA of Deerfield, IL, is being sued in a federal court in Oregon by several plaintiffs who allege that the company's Adenoscan cardiac stress agent infringes on their patents. Adenoscan is used to stimulate the heart rate in

Pharmaceutical firm Fujisawa USA of Deerfield, IL, is being sued in a federal court in Oregon by several plaintiffs who allege that the company's Adenoscan cardiac stress agent infringes on their patents. Adenoscan is used to stimulate the heart rate in nuclear medicine myocardial perfusion studies of patients who are unable to exercise. Fujisawa began selling the product in 1995 after licensing it from Medco Research of Research Triangle Park, NC.

The lawsuit was filed Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland on behalf of three plaintiffs: Richard Wilson, Debra Angello, and Paul Angello. The litigation claims that Wilson and Debra Angello in 1989 received U.S. Patent No. 4,824,660 for a method of determining the viability of heart tissue using an adenosine trisphosphate repleting agent such as ribose or adenosine. The agent acts as an adjunct to myocardial perfusion scintigraphy with a radioisotope such as thallium-201.

The complaint claims that Fujisawa's sale of Adenoscan infringes on the '660 patent; the plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that Fujisawa is willfully infringing the patent, that the company be enjoined from further infringement, and that the plaintiffs are entitled to unspecified damages, which should be trebled due to the alleged willful infringement. Although Medco Research developed Adenoscan, the company was not named in the lawsuit.

Court documents indicate that Wilson and Debra Angello have licensed rights to the '660 patent to Paul Angello, but do not indicate whether the plaintiffs are with a university or company trying to commercialize the patented technology. Representatives with Medco, Fujisawa, and the plaintiffs declined to comment on the litigation as of press time.