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SSB and GE sign patent licensing deal for biomanufacturing techs

By Gareth Macdonald , 13-Sep-2011
Last updated on 13-Sep-2011 at 11:44 GMT

Sartorius Stedium Biotech (SSB) and GE Healthcare Life Sciences say new cross licensing deal will aid development of their respective biomanufacturing tech offerings.

The agreement, financial terms of which were not disclosed, grants France-based SSB access to patents GE has licensed from purification and sensor system developer SciLog covering aseptic transfer and bioprocessing technologies.

In turn UK-based GE Healthcare, a unit of US conglomerate General Electric, is provided with access to patents licensed by SSB from University of Maryland spin-off company Fluorometrix, which include a range of monitoring technologies for biomanufacturing lines.

SSB was unavailable for comment ahead of publication.

In a press release company spokesman Reinhard Vogt said: “The agreement will enable both our companies to provide a greater selection of products as well as accelerate the development of new and innovative technologies for applications in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry.”

This was echoed by Catarina Flyborg, general manager of Bioprocess products at GE, who said: “In the immediate term it will enable us to employ the technologies covered by the patents in the license agreements to further advance the controls of single use devices.”

Flyborg added that the ability to employ control technologies without 'violating patent rights' will also be of benefit for the firms’ respective biomanufacturing industry customers.

Licenses and litigation

The agreement follows just weeks after GE granted life science research supplier US Bio Rad Laboratories a non-exclusive license to patents related to surface plasmon resonance (SPR), which is an analytical technique used to study molecular interactions during the drug discovery process.

That deal, terms of which were not disclosed, brought to an end a two-year legal battle in the German courts in which GE alleged that Bio-Rad’s use of SPR in its Biacore drug discovery and development platform had infringed on its intellectual property. After granting the license, GE withdrew its claims.

At the time Johan von Heijne, general manager of research products at GE, said:“This license recognizes the considerable value that our R&D effort and surface plasmon resonance technology brings to life scientists.

We are pleased that granting this license to Bio-Rad will enable scientists to expand the use of SPR for molecular interaction and binding studies even further in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development, and in basic life sciences research."

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