Complaint filed in Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
VANCOUVER, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - QLT Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTI; TSX: QLT) announced
that on February 11, 2009, the General Hospital Corporation, doing business as
Massachusetts General Hospital ("MGH"), filed a complaint in the Superior
Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts against QLT Phototherapeutics
(Canada), Inc. QLT Phototherapeutics (Canada), Inc. was a prior registered
name for QLT Inc. ("QLT"). In its complaint, MGH alleges that it entered into
a written agreement with QLT that requires QLT to pay MGH the same royalties
that it pays Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ("MEEI") on sales of
Visudyne(R). MEEI was recently awarded a 3.01% royalty rate, on worldwide
sales, in a legal action. QLT currently pays MGH a 0.5% royalty on Visudyne
sales in the United States and Canada.
As previously announced, on January 12, 2009, the First Circuit Court of
Appeals upheld a jury verdict against QLT in a lawsuit brought against QLT by
MEEI in which QLT was found liable under Massachusetts state law for unfair
trade practices and ordered to pay to MEEI damages in the form of royalties
equal to 3.01% on past, present and future worldwide net sales of Visudyne
plus interest and certain legal fees. Net worldwide sales of Visudyne, through
2008, are approximately $2.6 billion. QLT has filed a petition for rehearing
with respect to the foreign sales portion of that damages award, and is
further considering its appellate options regarding the decision of the Court
of Appeals with its legal counsel and considering its options for further
As a result of the MEEI judgment, MGH has asserted claims for breach of
contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,
violation of Massachusetts Chapter 93A, Sections 2 and 11, and unjust
enrichment. MGH seeks a declaratory judgment that QLT is obligated to pay MGH
past, present, and future royalties and other compensation based on the same
3.01% of worldwide sales of Visudyne awarded to MEEI, money damages and
multiple damages in an amount to be proved at trial, pre-judgment interest,
costs and attorneys' fees; and any other and further relief that the court
deems just and proper. QLT intends to vigorously defend against the
allegations, in part because its contract with MGH specifically limits any
obligation of QLT to pay a higher royalty to a circumstance in which QLT has
entered into a license agreement with MEEI at a royalty rate higher than the
one agreed to between QLT and MGH, and it is QLT's position that no such
license agreement has been entered into.
QLT Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the
discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies. Our
research and development efforts are focused on pharmaceutical products in the
field of ophthalmology. In addition, we utilize three unique technology
platforms, photodynamic therapy, Atrigel(R) and punctal plugs with drugs, to
create products such as Visudyne(R) and Eligard(R) and future product
opportunities. For more information, visit our website at www.qltinc.com.
QLT Plug Delivery, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of QLT Inc.
Atrigel is a registered trademark of QLT USA, Inc.
Visudyne is a registered trademark of Novartis AG.
Eligard is a registered trademark of Sanofi-aventis.
QLT Inc. is listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the trading symbol
"QLTI" and on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "QLT."
Certain statements contained in this press release, which are not
historical facts, are forward-looking statements, as the term is defined in
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these
forward-looking statements by QLT's use of words such as, "expect," "plans,"
"estimates," "intends," "believes" and similar expressions that do not relate
to historical matters. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks
and uncertainties which can cause actual results to differ materially from
those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, which include, but are
not limited to, the ultimate outcome of the MEEI and MGH litigation against
QLT is uncertain, any further legal review of the MEEI verdict may be
unavailable or may result in a decision even more unfavourable to QLT, and
other factors as described in detail in QLT's Annual Information Form and
Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other filings
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities
regulatory authorities. All forward-looking statements in this press release
are made as of today, based upon information known to QLT as of the date
hereof. QLT assumes no obligation to update or revise any of its
forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes show that
indicated results or events will not be realized.
For further information:
For further information: QLT Inc. Media Contact: Vancouver, Canada,
Karen Peterson, Telephone: (604) 707-7000 or 1-800-663-5486, Fax: (604)
707-7001; The Trout Group Investor Relations Contact: New York, USA, Christine
Yang, Telephone: (646) 378-2929; or Marcy Strickler, Telephone: (646)