VANCOUVER, March 5 /CNW/ - QLT Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTI; TSX: QLT) announced
that the parties have settled the litigation brought in 2001 by Massachusetts
Eye and Ear Infirmary ("MEEI") against QLT and Novartis Ophthalmics, Inc.,
case No. 01-10747, in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts (the "District Court"). Under the terms of the settlement
agreement, MEEI will dismiss with prejudice its claims for infringement of
U.S. Patent No. 6,225,303 (the " '303 Patent") against QLT and Novartis
Ophthalmics, Inc. and QLT and Novartis will dismiss their counterclaims
against MEEI and named MEEI researchers. QLT, MEEI and Massachusetts General
Hospital ("MGH") have agreed to resolve by arbitration counterclaims raised by
QLT and MGH that researchers from QLT and MGH should have been named as
inventors on the '303 Patent. The outcome of the arbitration will have no
effect on the settlement.
The settlement of the '303 Patent lawsuit does not resolve the separate
'349 patent lawsuit brought in 2000 by MEEI against QLT in the District Court,
No. 00-10783. The parties have filed post-trial motions in connection with the
'349 patent lawsuit. The timing of a final decision in the '349 patent lawsuit
QLT Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company specializing in developing
treatments for eye diseases as well as dermatological and urological
conditions. Together with our subsidiaries, we have combined our expertise in
the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative drug therapies
with our two unique technology platforms, photodynamic therapy and Atrigel(R),
to create products such as Visudyne(R) and Eligard(R). For more information,
visit our web site at www.qltinc.com.
Atrigel is a registered trademark of QLT USA, Inc.
Visudyne is a registered trademark of Novartis AG.
Eligard is a registered trademark of Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc.
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 in this press release constitute "forward-looking"
statements and information of QLT within the meaning of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and applicable Canadian Securities legislation,
which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that
may cause our actual results to be materially different from any future
results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements.
These statements and information are only predictions and actual events or
results may differ materially. Factors that could cause such actual events or
results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and
information to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied
by such statements and information include, but are not limited to, the
ultimate outcome of the '349 patent litigation against QLT is uncertain, final
judgment has not been entered by the trial judge and other factors as
described in detail in QLT Inc.'s Annual Information Form on Form 10-K and
recent and forthcoming quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other filings with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian Securities Regulatory
authorities. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations
and QLT is not obligated to update such information to reflect later events or
For further information:
For further information: QLT Inc.: Vancouver, Canada, Tamara Hicks, Bal
Bains, Telephone: (604) 707-7000, or 1-800-663-5486, Fax: (604) 707-7001