On January 31st, 2023, a jury awarded $42 million to medical device company TissueGen in a patent infringement case against Boston Scientific for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,596,296, titled “Biodegradable Drug-Releasing Implant.” The ’296 patent relates to a drug releasing biodegradable fiber implant which allows for controlled delivery of therapeutic agents.
The verdict comes after a five-year long dispute between the parties. The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System and TissueGen sued Boston Scientific for infringement of the ’296 patent in November 2017. TissueGen received an exclusive license to the ’296 patent from the University of Texas in 2003.
TissueGen’s infringement case concerned Boston Scientific’s SYNERGY™ technology. Boston Scientific reportedly previously received FDA approval for its SYNERGY™ Bioabsorbable Polymer Drug-Eluting Stent System in 2015. The SYNERGY™ system is alleged to be absorbed shortly after drug elution is complete at three months to eliminate the long-term polymer exposure.
In the first phase of the trial, the jury found that the patent at issue was valid and that Boston Scientific had infringed the patent. In the second phase of the trial, the jury further found that Boston Scientific’s infringement was willful and awarded the plaintiffs $42 million in lost royalties.
Dr. Kevin Nelson, the founder of TissueGen, had allegedly met the Boston Scientific executives in a symposium in 2009 where he told them about the patented technology. Dr. Nelson is a named inventor on the ’296 patent and is reported to have invented the technology while he was an employee of the University of Texas.
TissueGen is a medical device company that reportedly has a portfolio of patents on drug delivery technology. It was founded in 2000. Boston Scientific is a worldwide medical device company founded in 1979. Boston Scientific recently announced that it generated net sales of $3.242 billion during the fourth quarter of 2022.