Invitrogen, the parent of CellzDirect, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Life Technologies of Carlsbad, California. The complaint alleges that certain processes and methods performed by CellzDirect associated with its in vitro drug testing services and its pooled cryopreserved hepatocyte products infringe one or more claims of US Patent No 7,604,929 (the ‘929 patent).

The complaint also alleges that Invitrogen has been selling the infringing products and services, as well as inducing infringement of the ‘929 patent, and seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.

Reportedly, in the previous month, Celsis IVT had reached a settlement agreement with XenoTech, Sekisui Chemical and Sekisui Medical in a similar patent infringement lawsuit involving the ‘929 patent. Celsis is represented by Jordan Sigale and Adam Kelly of Loeb & Loeb.

The ‘929 patent relates to processes and methods for producing cryopreserved hepatocytes. In general, the technology combines hepatocytes from multiple donors to create large lots with targeted activity levels, the result of which is a product that speeds up decision making and reduces the time and cost of drug research. Since 2005, Celsis IVT has used this novel technology to create its unique LiverPool products for drug discovery research.

Jay LeCoque, CEO of Celsis, said: “Celsis believes that innovations are the lifeblood of the life sciences industry. Advancements must be protected and respected if we are to further the cause of cost-effective drug discovery. We are extremely disappointed that we have been forced into this litigation, but the predatory pricing employed by Invitrogen and CellzDirect suggests a serious attempt to erode our patent-protected market position for the LiverPool product line.

“These tactics are lowering, as well as undermining, the perceived value of new product innovations and inventions. We remain hopeful that the defendants will realize the serious impact of such a precedent on the entire life sciences industry, and that they will work with us to properly resolve this issue.”