Biopure Corporation wins European patent challenge

Biopure Corporation announced today that it has successfully defended a challenge at the European Patent Office (EPO) to its European Patent entitled, "A Method for Chromatographic Removal of Prions."

This European Patent covers Biopure's innovative purification method for removing potentially infectious prion proteins from oxygen therapeutics and provides Biopure with granted patent rights to its method in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. The Opposition Division of the EPO supported Biopure's rights to all of the claims originally granted by the EPO without any modifications or restrictions. The patent challenge was brought in an Opposition by Switzerland-based Octapharma AG. Biopure also has granted patents covering its novel method in many additional countries, including the United States.

"We are pleased with the decision of the European Patent Office and to have this dispute resolved," said Zafiris G. Zafirelis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Biopure.

The patented method is part of Biopure's purification procedures that result in an oxygen therapeutic that independent experts have concluded is effectively free of any risk of infectious disease transmission. In addition, Hemopure(R) is stable without refrigeration for 36 months (2 degrees to 30 degrees centigrade) and for 18 months at elevated temperature (40 degrees centigrade) and is compatible with all blood types. These properties permit the product to be stocked well in advance of anticipated use.

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