IBA agrees to pay $1.25 million to settle lawsuit alleging it infringed Optivus' patents

Optivus Proton Therapy has announced that Belgium-based IBA has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a lawsuit alleging IBA infringed on three Optivus proton therapy patents.

The settlement resolves a patent infringement and unfair business practices lawsuit filed by Optivus against IBA in August 2002. The lawsuit accused IBA of using patented Optivus proton technology in the development of a proton therapy center. In response, IBA filed various counter claims which were all dismissed in 2004 by United States District Judge S. James Otero.

"This is a huge milestone," said Jon Slater, President and CEO of Optivus. "It has taken us five years to reach this point and we are very satisfied with the results."

San-Bernardino-based Optivus was formed by the engineers who designed and installed the world's first hospital-based proton center at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif. The facility commissioned and maintained by Optivus continues to blossom, and has treated more than 12,000 patients since it opened in October 1990.

Unlike other forms of radiation oncology, proton beam therapy provides the most precise and effective method of treating cancer. Proton beams can be carefully focused, sparing surrounding healthy tissue from damage and eliminating painful side effects often associated with surgery and other types of radiation therapy. That precision makes proton beam therapy ideal for treating inoperable cancers, or those in or near critical organs such as the brain, heart and spinal cord.

Interest in the development of proton treatment centers has skyrocketed in recent years as the popularity of the highly successful cancer therapy continues to grow in the healthcare community.

Optivus systems have safely provided nearly half a million individual treatments for patients from all over the world, far surpassing the number of treatments provided by IBA and the rest of Optivus' competitors combined, Slater said.

"As the company whose systems have treated the most patients, Optivus remains the undisputed leader in proton-based radiation oncology," Slater said. "In addition, we are on the cusp of a major announcement that will further support our position as the global leader in proton cancer treatment technology."

The settlement comes on the heels of Optivus' launch of an aggressive new marketing and sales strategy that included boosting the sales staff and a plan to present the Optivus proton beam therapy system to more than 200 academic and medical institutions over the next year.

As the company who pioneered hospital-based proton beam therapy, Optivus Proton Therapy, Inc. (Optivus(R)) offers a true turn-key Proton Beam Therapy Solution (PBTS) to medical and academic institutions committed to bringing the most precise form of radiation therapy to their communities. FDA approved, Optivus' modular and scalable Conforma 3000(R) leads the industry in patient throughput, highest operational reliability and demonstrates a perfect safety record after close to a half million individual patient treatments.

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