Appeals Court Affirms Ruling in Favor of Mass. Eye and Ear in Visudyne (QLT Inc.) Case

Article ID: 548082

Released: 13-Jan-2009 8:00 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Newswise — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Mass. Eye and Ear) announces that yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed a lower court's decision in favor of Mass. Eye and Ear on claims of unjust enrichment and unfair trade practices against QLT Inc.

The Court upheld a previous judgment awarding Mass. Eye and Ear royalties of 3.01% on worldwide past, present and future net sales for Visudyne, a treatment for the wet form of macular degeneration, plus interest. The First Circuit remanded to the District Court for further consideration regarding the amount of attorneys' fees awarded.

The case, which began in 2000, related to the development of Visudyne. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 in the Western world. Visudyne was the first drug therapy approved for this devastating disease and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration in 2000. Net sales of Visudyne through Dec. 31, 2008 total approximately $2.6 billion, according to QLT Inc.

"Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is pleased with this result and appreciates the work of the Court," said John Fernandez, Mass. Eye and Ear's president and CEO. "We are very proud of the pioneering research done by Drs. Joan Miller and Evangelos Gragoudas in the development of this landmark treatment. This decision will enable us to reinvest in research and educational efforts to improve clinical care, train the next generation of medical leaders, and develop more treatments for those who suffer from debilitating diseases."

Founded in 1824, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital, an international center for treatment and research, and a major teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. Information about the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is available on its web site at


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