A small Dallas biotech company and the University of Texas took on big pharma and won.
A federal jury in Delaware found that Boston Scientific infringed on a patent related to coronary stents held by the University of Texas and exclusively licensed to TissueGen and must pay $42 million in damages to the two plaintiffs.
The medical device giant infringed on the patent with its “Synergy” brand coronary stents, which are often used to treat narrowed coronary arteries. The company was the first to get FDA approval for a bioabsorbable polymer drug-eluting stent, which means it’s coated with a slow-release medication to help prevent blood clotting.
The jury determined that $42 million represents the royalties TissueGen should have collected from Synergy stents, according to a verdict form.
Boston Scientific, through a spokeswoman, said it plans to appeal.
“Boston Scientific respectfully disagrees with the jury’s verdict,” said spokeswoman Kate Haranis.
The verdict comes in a long court battle that started in November 2017.
The patent came about from research that Dr. Kevin Nelson and others did in the late 1990s at UT Arlington, according to court filings. Nelson is now chief scientific officer at TissueGen, which he founded in July 2000 to develop next-generation drug delivery technologies.
TissueGen has 33 active patents, according to its website, and is considered a spin-out of the joint program of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and UT Arlington.
The patent in question was issued in July 2003, and, in 2008, Nelson met with Boston Scientific executives and introduced his biodegradable drug-eluting peripheral stent technology, according to the lawsuit. He also asked if Boston Scientific wanted to invest in the company.
In 2015, Boston Scientific received FDA approval for its Synergy stents.
In court filings, Boston Scientific denied the allegations, including that it knew of Nelson and his inventions before the suit was filed.