CAT-Abbott settles on morning of appeal

The IP dispute between Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and Abbott Laboratories has reached a shock settlement ahead of a Court of Appeal hearing due to start today (26 October).

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer client Abbott had appealed a December 2004 decision of Mr Justice Laddie over the royalties payable over CAT’s ground breaking rheumatoid arthritis drug HUMIRA.

This morning the companies announced that they had reached an agreement, which will see Abbott pay a reduced royalty of 2.688 per cent from approximately 5.1 per cent on sales of the drug dating from 1 January 2005. Abbott will also pay $255m to pay CAT’s licensors in lieu of royalties from 1 January 2005, as well as five annual payments of $9.375m from 1 January 2006.

Herbert Smith life sciences head Andrew Rich and senior partner David Gold acted for CAT, instructing 3 Stone Buildings’ head Geoffrey Vos QC and 8 New Square’s Daniel Alexander QC. David Kitchin QC of 8 New Square appeared in the High Court, but Alexander took over for the appeal after Kitchin was appointed to the Bench.

Freshfields instructed One Essex Court’s Lord Grabiner QC.