Shelbyzyme Wins $50 Million Verdict in Genzyme Case

Shelbyzyme LLC, the owner of a patent used to treat organ-destroying Fabry disease, won $50 million from Genzyme Corp. after a jury trial.

Genzyme, a unit of France’s Sanofi based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, encouraged and contributed to the infringement of Leonia, New Jersey-based Shelbyzyme’s 2006 patent, jurors in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, found on July 17, according to electronic court documents.

Genzyme was “not licensed or otherwise authorized” to use the recombinant DNA therapy for Fabry patients and used it anyway, Shelbyzyme said.

Fabry disease affects 1 in as many as 60,000 males and fewer females, according to the National Institutes of Health website on genetic conditions. The inherited disease results from a buildup of fat in organs and cells, causing pain, splotching, digestive distress and potential organ failure.

“We disagree with the jury verdict” and may appeal, Bo Piela, a Genzyme spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Charles Emanuel, an attorney for Shelbyzyme, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment on the verdict.

The technology in the patent was developed by City University of New York researchers David Calhoun and George Coppola, according to court papers.

The case is Shelbyzyme v. Genzyme, 09-cv-768, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patent, click: 7,011,831.

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