Minerva Fails in Bid to Stop Sales of Hologic Device

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By Dana A. Elfin

Medical device maker Minerva Surgical, Inc. failed to convince a federal court to stop Hologic Inc. from selling an endometrial ablation device that competes with Minerva’s system.

Minerva isn’t entitled to an injunction barring sales of Hologic’s new NovaSure Advanced device because it couldn’t demonstrate it was likely to succeed in the patent infringement case, Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said in a Jan. 5 ruling.

In a blow to Minerva and its EAS device, Donato said stopping sales of Hologic’s Advanced would limit women’s access to a device offering women “a greater degree of effectiveness and comfort than other options on the market.” The ruling leaves Minerva’s EAS competing with the NovaSure Advanced device, which Hologic began distributing in February 2017.

Endometrial ablation devices treat abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding by destroying the uterine lining.

Minerva alleged Hologic’s sales of its Advanced device infringe U.S. Patent No. 9,186,208 covering systems for endometrial ablation and asked the court to enjoin sales of the device. Minerva argued sales of the Advanced device have forced it to cut its price for Minerva EAS but the court said Minerva’s evidence for price erosion was to scant to support its arguments.

Michael J. Watts, Hologic’s vice president of investor relations and corporate communications, told Bloomberg Law Jan. 8 the company doesn’t comment on ongoing legal matters. Watts said the company hasn’t made sales figures for Novasure Advanced available.

Bloomberg Law contacted Minerva for comment on the ruling but no one from the company was available to respond.Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented Minerva. Founded in 2008, the company is based in Redwood City, Calif.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP represented Marlborough, Mass.-based Hologic and subsidiary Cytyc Surgical Products LLC.

The case is Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc. , 2018 BL 4222, N.D. Cal., No. 3:17-cv-02013-JD, 1/5/18 .

To contact the reporter on this story: Dana A. Elfin in Washington at delfin@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brian Broderick at bbroderick@bloomberglaw.com

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