Life Tech to Pay Enzo $35M to Settle DNA Test Patent Suit

Stay ahead of developments in federal and state health care law, regulation and transactions with timely, expert news and analysis.

By John T. Aquino

May 17 — Life Technologies Corp. will pay Enzo Life Sciences $35 million to settle litigation alleging that it infringed two DNA detection patents, Enzo announced May 16.

The settlement is the fourth out of the 11 lawsuits that Enzo filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware alleging infringement of patent composition claims that can be used for diagnostic tools for detecting analytes and as therapeutic agents. The other seven lawsuits are still pending and aren't affected by the Life Tech settlement, Enzo said.

On Oct. 13, 2015, Enzo BioChem, Enzo Life Sciences' parent company, reported global revenues for the fiscal year that ended July 31 of $97 million, up 2 percent from the previous year, with life sciences' revenues down 4 percent due to a 43 percent decline in third-party royalties and fluctuations in foreign currencies.

The settlement with Life Tech, a unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific (TFS), plus the three other settlements now totals $61 million. Enzo earlier settled with Agilent Technologies (10 LSLR 01, 1/8/16), Luminex Inc. and Abbott Laboratories (9 LSLR 776, 7/10/15) and Affymetrix (9 LSLR 1141, 10/16/15).

Case to Be Dismissed

In its Jan. 12, 2012, complaint, Enzo alleged that Life Tech's TaqMan probes and assays, Dynabead oligo-dT beads, NCode oligonucleotide array products, Ion Torrent beads and chips and SOLiD beads and chips had infringed Enzo's U.S. Patent Nos. 6,992,180 (“Oligo- or Polynucleotides Comprising Phosphate Moiety Labeled Nucleotides”) and 7,064,197 (“System, Array and Non-Porous Solid Support Comprising Fixed or Immobilized Nucleic Acids”).

Thermo Fisher Scientific said in a May 16 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that, under the settlement, the parties agreed to request dismissal of all Enzo's claims against Life Tech after it pays the $35 million, which was fully reserved in TFS's April 2 consolidated financial statements.

The settlement could offer some satisfaction to Enzo because it won a jury verdict of $61 million against Applera Corp., which became Life Tech, for infringement of three of its other DNA detection patents only to have the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reverse the district court's claim construction in 2015 and remand the case to the district court (9 LSLR 300, 3/20/15).

On remand, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on Feb. 22 denied Enzo's motion for entry of judgment on the jury's $61 million verdict (10 LSLR 05, 3/4/16). Enzo appealed the district court's decision to the Federal Circuit on April 18.

Interestingly, the money Enzo has received from the four settlements equals the amount of the jury verdict in the other Life Tech litigation.

And Then There Were Seven

The remaining defendants from the original 11 alleged to have infringed one or more of the three Enzo patents at issue are: Abbott, Becton Dickinson, Gen-Probe, Hologic, Illumina, Roche Molecular and Siemens Healthcare.

Enzo was represented by Farnan LLP, Wilmington, Del., and Desmarais LLP, New York. Life Tech was represented by Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, Del.

To contact the reporter on this story: John T. Aquino in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randy Kubetin at

Request Health Care on Bloomberg Law