MBI spurs review of Nycomed patent

The U.S. Patent Office has granted a petition from Molecular Biosystems of San Diego asking for a review of an ultrasound contrast agent patent issued to Norwegian contrast developer Nycomed. MBI was granted a similar petition in July relating to

The U.S. Patent Office has granted a petition from Molecular Biosystems of San Diego asking for a review of an ultrasound contrast agent patent issued to Norwegian contrast developer Nycomed. MBI was granted a similar petition in July relating to ultrasound contrast patents received by Sonus Pharmaceutical (SCAN 8/6/97).

MBI said it filed the petition in response to Nycomed's assertion that MBI's Optison contrast agent infringes on one of its patents, U.S. patent no. 5,529,766. Nycomed filed patent infringement claims on Sept. 2 against MBI and Mallinckrodt, and in the same action sought to have its patents take priority over those of Sonus (SCAN 9/17/97).

MBI claims that it brought to the patent office's attention certain prior art references that were not included in Nycomed's patent application. MBI believes that the use of perfluorocarbon gases for ultrasound imaging is not patentable because of the prior art references.

MBI and its marketing partner Mallinckrodt also filed litigation in July in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking to have the patents of Nycomed, Bracco, ImaRx Pharmaceutical and Du Pont Merck, and Sonus declared invalid.