Herbert Smith secures High Court victory for CAT

Herbert Smith has today won a victory in the High Court for new client Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) in its dispute against Abbott Laboratories.

The dispute centred on the level of royalty payments Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer client Abbott should pay to CAT on the ground breaking rheumatoid arthritis drug HUMIRA.

HUMIRA, which was discovered using CAT’s antibody gene technology is manufactured and sold by Abbott and has the potential to become the first multi-billion pound drug.

In a summary statement Mr Justice Laddie said: “The construction advanced by Abbott does violence to the language of the agreements, renders them obscure and makes little or no commercial sense.”

The case is hugely significant for CAT as industry commentators have noted in the past the importance of the dispute to the company’s commercial position.

The Herbert Smith team was led by partners Andrew Rich and David Gold. The firm instructed Geoffrey Vos QC of 3 Stone Buildings David Kitchin QC and Richard Meade of 8 New Square and Maitland Chambers’ John Nicholls.

Meanwhile, Freshfields instructed Lord Grabiner QC.

Abbott has applied for leave to appeal.