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Taq (Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerase)

Related Lawyers: Brian A. Ratner
Related Practice Areas: Antitrust / Competition

Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories v. Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc., et al., Case No. 1:04-CV-01649 (HHK) (D.D.C.) - Hausfeld served as co-lead counsel in this antitrust class action brought in September of 2004 on behalf of a genetic diagnostic laboratory that purchased Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerase ("Taq") directly from defendants Roche and Applera and their subsidiaries, affiliates, and predecessors.

Taq is an enzyme used in the amplification of DeoxyriboNucleic Acid ("DNA") by scientists working with a process known as "polymerase chain reaction" or "PCR." Plaintiff, on behalf of itself and those similarly situated, sought to recover the supra-competitive overcharges it and other direct purchasers paid as a result of defendants’ alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain a patent on Taq and to use that patent to force competitors out of the market so defendants could charge monopoly prices for Taq. Plaintiff also claimed that defendants' fraudulent procurement and enforcement of the Taq patent inhibited, among other things, potential advances in molecular biology and pathology, and the treatment of life-threatening diseases such as cancer, AIDS, and heart disease. Class Plaintiffs and the defendants reached a $33 million settlement in late 2008, which the Court finally approved on December 29, 2008. For access to the docket please click here. To view the final order please click here.

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