[Update, Jan. 28, 2013: San Francisco Superior Court Judge John E. Munter dismissed all remaining claims against the university, upholding UCLA's licensing practices as legal and fair.]
Judge John E. Munter of the Superior Court of San Francisco last month granted a summary adjudication in favor of UCLA in a lawsuit filed by the pharmaceutical company Medivation Inc. The suit concerned research conducted at UCLA that resulted in the development of a number of promising compounds for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Certain UCLA patent rights for one series of those compounds were licensed exclusively to Medivation, which in 2012 received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a compound developed at UCLA for the treatment of prostate cancer, called Xtandi.
Separate UCLA patent rights for a second series of prostate-cancer treatment compounds were exclusively licensed to Aragon Pharmaceuticals Inc., including ARN-509 (also referred to as A52), which is now being tested in Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer.
In the lawsuit, Medivation asserted it had exclusive rights to ARN-509, regardless of the terms of its agreements with the university. In his ruling, Judge Munter agreed with UCLA's position that Medivation had no rights to the compound and that UCLA had properly licensed its patents covering ARN-509 to Aragon. UCLA was represented in the litigation by the law firm Crowell & Moring LLP.
Read the full ruling (pdf).
"We are pleased with the recent court decision affirming UCLA's practices that ensure that the university's world-class biomedical research is quickly brought to market for the benefit of patients," said Brendan Rauw, UCLA's associate vice chancellor for research and executive director of entrepreneurship in the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research.
UCLA ranks among the nation's top five institutions in research funding. Groundbreaking innovation and research at UCLA presently generates more than $1 billion in research funding annually. UCLA currently manages approximately 1,800 active inventions and negotiates more than 500 new material transfer agreements, 60 licenses and 400 industry-sponsored research agreements each year.