Published on July 11, 2007 at 1:20 PM
The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) has announced that the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge William G. Young, following a Nov. 6, 2006 jury decision, ruled in favor of MEEI on claims of unjust enrichment and unfair trade practices against QLT Inc.
Judge Young found QLT Inc. liable for 3.01% royalty on worldwide net sales of Visudyne and awarded prejudgment interest on past royalties due at the Massachusetts statutory rate of 12 %. In addition, Judge Young awarded MEEI attorney's fees of more than $14 million. The case, which began in 2000, relates to the development of Visudyne as a treatment for the wet form of macular degeneration.
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. As of the end of March 2007, net worldwide sales of Visudyne were approximately $2.314 billion, according to QLT Inc.
“Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is proud of the pioneering work of its researchers, Drs. Joan Miller and Evangelos Gragoudas, in the development of this landmark treatment,” said John Fernandez, MEEI president and CEO. “This ruling will help us further our mission to improve clinical care, train the next generation of medical leaders, and perform research to develop more treatments for those who suffer from debilitating disorders.”
Founded in 1824, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital, an international center for treatment and research, and a teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. Information about the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is available on its Web site at