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Dharmacon and MIT Settle RNAi License Dispute

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Dharmacon, Inc., a unit of Fisher Biosciences has announced a settlement of its contract dispute with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

As part of the agreement, MIT has dismissed all of its legal claims against Dharmacon and its parent company Fisher Scientific International Inc., which in turn dismissed its counterclaims against MIT.

MIT previously had voluntarily dropped its patent infringement claim against Dharmacon's reverse transfection RNAi product on Oct. 19, leaving only the contractual issues concerning the calculation of royalties under the license agreement between the parties. The settlement agreement resolved these issues.  

"As the leading supplier of RNAi research tools, we are delighted that this contractual dispute is now behind us and that it has been resolved on mutually agreeable terms," said William S. Marshall, Ph.D., vice president of technology and development for Fisher Biosciences. 

"We look forward to fully focusing our efforts on developing and marketing advanced research tools, such as gene-silencing technologies, that are changing the way scientists battle cancer and many other diseases."

Lita Nelsen, director of MIT’s Technology Licensing Office said, "MIT is very pleased that we have come to agreement on terms that are satisfactory to all, and we look forward to Dharmacon’s success in this exciting field."

Dharmacon is one of four exclusive licensees to a series of patent applications jointly owned by MIT, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, the University of Massachusetts and the Max Planck Institute, that cover methods of using small interfering RNA (siRNA) agents.