Basel, 06.11.2007 – On October 30, 2007 the United States District Court for the District of Delaware held that Martek’s U.S. Patent No 6,451,567 covering omega-3 fatty acids [“DHA”] is invalid for lack of enablement, overturning a prior jury verdict in Martek’s favor. The Court sustained two other patents, directed to a specific manufacturing process and to food products that include DHA. The ruling clears the way for Lonza DHA made by other processes for non-food uses. Lonza is considering an appeal of the other patents.
“The judge’s decision is a positive development in Lonza’s long term plan of bringing our microbial oil based DHA to the US market,” said Roman Quinter, Head of the Nutrition department at Lonza. “The ‘567 patent was the broadest patent asserted by Martek, and we are glad that the District Court Judge realized that Martek obtained patent claims beyond that permitted by law. In the meantime, while we consider appeal, we have alternative processes options, which are covered by our own pending patents, for the manufacturing patent that was upheld by the Delaware court.”
Lonza DHA is a pure vegetarian omega-3-DHA oil. DHA is a major building block of cell membranes, especially brain, nerve tissue and the retina of the eye. Several scientific and clinical studies demonstrated the beneficial health effects for heart health, brain and eye. Dietary DHA can reduce the level of blood triglycerides in humans, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Low levels of DHA have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, and depression, among other diseases, and there is mounting evidence that DHA supplementation may be effective in combating such diseases.
Lonza is one of the world's leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries. Its products and services span its customers’ needs from research to final product manufacture. Lonza is the global leader in the production and support of active pharmaceutical ingredients both chemically as well as biotechnologically. Biopharmaceuticals are one of the key growth drivers of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Lonza has strong capabilities in large and small molecules, peptides, amino acids and niche bioproducts which play an important role in the development of novel medicines and healthcare products. Lonza is a leader in cell-based research, endotoxin detection and cell therapy manufacturing. Lonza is also a leading provider of value chemical and biotech ingredients to the nutrition, hygiene, preservation, agro and personal care markets.
Lonza is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange. In 2006, Lonza had sales of CHF 2.91 billion. Further information can be found at www.lonza.com.