SOURCE: Crucell N.V.

January 16, 2008 09:45 ET

Crucell Reacts to Recent CEVEC Press Release

LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - January 16, 2008) - Dutch biotechnology company Crucell N.V. today reacted to a press release issued by German company CEVEC Pharmaceuticals GmbH. In their press release of 14 January 2008, CEVEC announced that one of Crucell's PER.C6® patents for protein production was restricted by a recent decision of the European Patent Office. Crucell states that the suggestions made in CEVEC's press release are misleading.

On 7 December 2007, the opposition division of the European Patent Office maintained Crucell's patent for protein production (EP1161548), with only a minor limitation to a claim that is not relevant to the scope of protection of the patent.

CEVEC lodged opposition against the patent. The company requested the revocation of the patent in full. The opposition has however been rejected on all essential points.

The only limitation that was made has no consequence for the scope of protection of the patent as a whole. The essential claims of the patent, those for the method of producing a recombinant protein, have been maintained without any limitation.

"This favorable ruling by the European Patent Office has significantly strengthened Crucell's patent estate," said Bart Klein, Crucell's Executive Vice President Intellectual Property. "Anyone who wishes to produce a recombinant protein of any type on PER.C6® cells, infringes the PER.C6® patent, unless Crucell has granted a license."

About PER.C6® Technology

Crucell's PER.C6® technology is a cell line developed for the large-scale manufacture of biopharmaceutical products including vaccines and recombinant proteins. The production scale potential of the PER.C6® cell line has been demonstrated in an unprecedented successful bioreactor run of 20,000 liters. Compared to conventional production technologies, the strengths of the PER.C6® technology lie in its excellent safety profile, scalability and productivity under serum-free culture conditions. These characteristics, combined with its ability to support the growth of both human and animal viruses, make the PER.C6® technology the biopharmaceutical production technology of choice for Crucell's current and potential pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners.

About Crucell

Crucell N.V. (Euronext, NASDAQ: CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) is a biotechnology company focused on research, development and worldwide marketing of vaccines and antibodies that prevent and treat infectious diseases. Its vaccines are sold in public and private markets worldwide. Crucell's core portfolio includes a vaccine against hepatitis B, a fully-liquid vaccine against five important childhood diseases, and a virosome-adjuvanted vaccine against influenza. Crucell also markets travel vaccines, such as the only oral anti-typhoid vaccine, an oral cholera vaccine and the only aluminium-free hepatitis A vaccine on the market. The Company has a broad pipeline, with several products based on its unique PER.C6® production technology in development. The Company licenses this and other technologies to the biopharmaceutical industry. Important partners and licensees include DSM Biologics, sanofi-aventis, Novartis, Wyeth and Merck & Co. Crucell is headquartered in Leiden (the Netherlands), with subsidiaries in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Korea and the US. The Company employs over a 1000 people. For more information, please visit www.crucell.com

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve inherent risks and uncertainties. We have identified certain important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements. For information relating to these factors please refer to our Form 20-F, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on June 13, 2007, and the section entitled "Risk Factors". The Company prepares its financial statements under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) with reconciliation to the generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (US GAAP).


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Contact Information

  • For further information please contact:

    Media:
    Barbara Mulder
    Director Corporate Communications
    Tel: +31-(0)71-519 7346
    press@crucell.com

    Investors/Analysts:
    Oya Yavuz
    Director Investor Relations
    Tel. +31-(0)71-519 7064
    ir@crucell.com