Omrix Biopharmaceuticals Inc. rejects the Israeli government's claim that the company stole the state's rights to the company's biosurgical sealant to stop hemorrhaging. The company today filed its statement of response with the Tel Aviv District Court in the NIS 500 million lawsuit filed by the State of Israel in December 2009 against the company and its chairman, Robert Taub.
Omrix rejects the government's claim that the sealant's preparation was discovered by a government employee, Prof. Uriel Martinovich of the Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer, and that the government therefore owns the rights to the preparation.
Omrix stated, "The patent authorities in Europe and the US (as well as in other countries) ruled more than a decade ago that the concepts that the government attributes to Martinovich are not new and cannot be invented, but are included in prior patents."
Omrix adds, "Martinovich himself confirmed this ruling by the patent authorities, in his signed statement, in which he declared that he made no contribution to the patents."
Omrix goes on to state, "Had the government undertaken a thorough review of the facts, before hastily filing a baseless lawsuit in a fantastical amount, it would have found that, in line with the rulings of the European and US patent authorities, that the patents cover only Omrix's unique production process of the biological sealant, which was invented and developed solely by Octopharma Ltd., and not by Martinovich."
Omrix is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) unit Ethicon Inc., which acquired the company last year for $438 million. Johnson & Johnson is not a party to the lawsuit.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 7, 2010
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