VANCOUVER, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - QLT Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTI; TSX: QLT) announced
that the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (the "Court of
Appeals") today denied its Petition for Panel Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc
("QLT Petition") of the January 12, 2009 Court of Appeals decision. The QLT
Petition was filed on January 26, 2009. The January 12, 2009 Court of Appeals
decision upheld the liability and damages aspect of the 2007 judgment of the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (the "District
Court") in the lawsuit brought against QLT by Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Infirmary ("MEEI") in connection with events related to U.S. patent No.
5,798,349 (the "'349 patent") and certain of MEEI's research results related
to QLT's Visudyne(R). The District Court found QLT liable under Massachusetts
state law for unfair trade practices and ordered QLT to pay to MEEI damages
equal to 3.01% on past, present and future worldwide net sales of Visudyne(R)
plus interest and certain legal fees. The QLT Petition asked the Court of
Appeals to reconsider its decision on two grounds which would impact the
foreign sales portion of the damages. The panel of judges of the Court of
Appeals that issued the January 12, 2009 decision ruled that the arguments
raised by the QLT Petition would not change the outcome of that decision. The
Court of Appeals further declined to hear the case en banc. QLT is considering
options for further appellate review.
Based on net sales of Visudyne(R) through December 31, 2008 of
approximately $2.6 billion, QLT estimates that the amount of damages and
interest that QLT is required to pay MEEI is approximately US$113.2 million.
The amount of legal fees and post-judgment interest on those legal fees is yet
to be determined. In addition, on February 11, 2009, Massachusetts General
Hospital ("MGH") filed a complaint in the Superior Court of the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts against QLT, alleging 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). QLT
intends to vigorously defend against the allegations.
As of December 31, 2008, QLT had cash, short term investments and
restricted cash totaling US$290.0 million. That amount included restricted
cash of approximately US$124.6 million that is being used as security for the
appeal bond that was posted in connection with the appeal in the MEEI
litigation decided by the Court of Appeals. Subject to further review, QLT
expects that the current amount of the damages award will initially be paid
out to MEEI from QLT's restricted cash used to secure the appeal bond. Amounts
owing under the District Court decision by QLT to MEEI on future quarterly
sales of Visudyne will be recorded and paid as they are due.
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 web site 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."
Forward Looking Statements
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 litigation against QLT is
uncertain, any further legal review may be unavailable or may result in a
decision even more unfavourable to QLT, QLT may choose not to pursue further
legal review of the decision, 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. If judgment in the
MEEI appeal is not reviewable, or if QLT chooses not to have the decision
reviewed, or if any such review is undertaken and is resolved unfavourably to
QLT, QLT could be liable for the full amount of the damages. 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)