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Northwest Bio Reaffirms Its Freedom To Operate; Refutes Other Parties' Misleading Patent Assertions

Stocks in this article: NWBO


BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After obtaining confirmatory opinions from multiple experts in patent law, Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTC.BB: NWBO) (NW Bio) today reaffirms that its lead program, applying DCVax ®-L for treatment of brain cancer, continues to have clear freedom to operate with respect to US Patent 7,939,090 (the '090 patent), recently issued to Cedars Sinai, and licensed to Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC) (collectively, Cedars Sinai/IMUC). Contrary to numerous misleading claims by certain parties, the '090 patent is extremely narrow and limited, and neither DCVax-L nor NW Bio's treatment regimen infringes upon the '090 patent.  All of the information about the '090 patent is publicly available online from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).


Cedars Sinai/IMUC applied for a broad scope of patent and tried repeatedly, through an unusually protracted process lasting nearly eight years, to get it allowed by the USPTO.  However, the broad scope was repeatedly rejected by the USPTO and was never granted.  One of the many bases for the rejections explicitly cited by the USPTO was the work by Dr. Linda Liau and NW Bio with DCVax, stretching back years prior to the 2003 patent application by Cedars Sinai/IMUC, which was the same DCVax product and program that NW Bio now has in late stage clinical development.  

In order to get even a narrow scope of patent claim granted, Cedars Sinai/IMUC had to explicitly argue to the USPTO that the subject matter of their patent application was different than the prior work of NW Bio and Dr. Liau with DCVax.  In addition, Cedars Sinai/IMUC had to drop all but one of the operative (i.e., "independent") claims in their application in order for their patent to finally be granted. 

The sole independent claim that was finally granted in the '090 patent has two parts -- part "(a)" and part "(b)" -- and they must both be satisfied in order to find any infringement.  The claim provides as follows:

1.  A method for treating a glioma in a mammal, the method comprising:

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