Healthcare Industry News: Patent foramen ovale
News Release - March 19, 2009
Occlutech Obtains Favourable Ruling in Proceedings Initiated by AGA MedicalJENA, Germany, March 19 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Occlutech GmbH today announced that it had defeated a request for insolvency, launched at the Amtsgericht Gera in Germany by its US competitor AGA Medical.
The request by AGA was based on wrongful assumptions about Occlutech, and AGA announced that it had started the said request to recover damages. However, the court - Amtsgericht Gera in Germany - stated, that a proceeding regarding any damages has not yet been started.
"Occlutech intends to maintain a healthy business in vascular intervention based on excellent products for cardiac occlusion as well as coronary and peripheral intervention. We have developed a new range of innovative occluders for treating PFO and ASD in order not to violate the recent German patent ruling," said Tor Peters who was appointed CEO in late January and continued: "We expect to be on the market shortly with the new version."
Occlutech won against AGA Medical in the Patent Court in The Hague in October last year. AGA Medical appealed against this decision by the Patent Court in The Hague and the proceeding is pending.
In Germany, AGA Medical won a patent infringement litigation before the appeal court in Dusseldorf. This decision has no relevance outside Germany though.
"Our response to this is threefold," said Tor Peters. "First we decided to appeal the court's decision and initiated a complaint against the appeal court's revision-disallowance. The appeal court's decision is therefore not final, contrary to what was indicated by our competitor. Secondly, we are pursuing invalidation proceedings to invalidate the relevant AGA Medical patent. The case will be heard in Munich in September. Thirdly, we have developed a version of the occluder that does not violate any ruling. This occluder will be launched in Germany before the summer. Manufacturing, development, marketing and sales outside of Germany have not been impacted and will remain unchanged."
Occlusion devices are used to treat structural heart disease, including structural heart defects and abnormalities such as Atrial Septal Defects, (ASD), and Patent foramen ovale (PFO, an undesired channel between the heart's two atria, present in up to 25% of the population), in minimally invasive, non-surgical procedures. The market for PFO occluders is expected to expand significantly as the link between PFO and stroke, that is the third most common cause of death, as well as severe migraine becomes increasingly well documented.
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