Genentech and UC Settle Patent Battle

One of the longest patent fights in biotech history may at last be over. Today, the Los Angeles Times reported that Genentech Inc. of South San Francisco had agreed to pay the University of California (UC) $200 million for having infringed on UC's patent on a genetically engineered human growth hormone.

A trial on the decade-old infringement case ended with a hung jury in June (Science, 11 June, p. 1752). Now, a scheduled January retrial appears to have been averted.

According to the Times, nearly half of the settlement will be split among the five scientists named as co-discoverers on the patent, and the remainder will go to UC San Francisco, with $50 million earmarked to fund a new research building. Today, UC and Genentech were staying silent on the deal until the UC Regents had a chance to review it at a meeting earlier this week.