Zimmer Holdings Inc. and Seikagaku Corp. won a U.S. patent-infringement trial brought by Sanofi’s Genzyme over a treatment for arthritis in the knee.
A federal jury in Boston said Aug. 3 the Gel-One product made by Tokyo-based Seikagaku and distributed by Zimmer doesn’t infringe a Genzyme patent for a method to treat arthritic pain in the knee. The jury also said that the patent is invalid because it covered obvious variations of earlier work.
Genzyme’s Synvisc-One product was the only single-injection treatment approved by US regulators until Gel-One was given clearance in March 2011, according to the complaint filed a month after the approval was granted. The injection of a hyaluronic acid gel provides pain relief for as long as six months, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Genzyme said.
US District Judge Douglas Woodlock on Dec. 30 issued an order preventing Warsaw, Indiana-based Zimmer from selling Gel- One at a price less than $547.60 or giving out free samples, so it didn’t undercut the price of Synvisc-One. The judge vacated that order following the jury verdict.
Synvisc and Synvisc-One generated 184 million euros ($228 million) in the first half of the year for Sanofi. Sales were up 8.9 percent over the year-earlier period, the Paris-based company said July 26. Zimmer doesn’t break out sales of Gel-One.