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Cambridge Antibody Technology Group PLC (CATG) Legal Action With Abbott: Abbott Granted Permission To Appeal


10/19/2005 5:13:05 PM

CAMBRIDGE, England, March 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cambridge Antibody Technology reports the decision by the Rt Hon Lord Justice Jacob, in the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, to grant Abbott permission to appeal Mr Justice Laddie's judgment in favour of CAT of 20 December 2004.

In the Order from the Court of Appeal, the reasons for the decision are stated as follows: "The points raised in [Abbott's] notice of appeal (there is no separate skeleton argument) appear, just, to raise a real prospect of success and the commercial importance of the agreements is sufficient in the circumstances to provide a compelling reason for an appeal."

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) that govern court procedures, state that "Permission to appeal will only be given where - (a) the Court considers that the appeal would have a real prospect of success; or (b) there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard."

  Notes to Editors
  Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT):
  * CAT is a biopharmaceutical company using its proprietary technologies
    and capabilities in human monoclonal antibodies for drug discovery and
    drug development. Based near Cambridge, England, CAT currently employs
    around 280 people.
  * CAT is a leader in the discovery and development of human therapeutic
    antibodies and has an advanced proprietary technology for rapidly
    isolating human monoclonal antibodies using phage display and ribosome
    display systems. CAT has extensive phage antibody libraries, currently
    incorporating more than 100 billion distinct antibodies. These libraries
    form the basis for the Company's strategy to develop a portfolio of
    antibody-based drugs.
  * Four CAT human therapeutic antibody products are now at various stages
    of clinical development, with one further product candidate in pre-
    clinical development.
  * HUMIRA, the leading CAT-derived antibody, isolated and optimised in
    collaboration with Abbott, has been approved for marketing as a
    treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in 51 countries.
  * Six further licensed CAT-derived human therapeutic antibodies are in
    clinical development by licensees, with four further licensed product
    candidates in pre-clinical development.
  * CAT has alliances with a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology
    companies to discover, develop and commercialise human monoclonal
    antibody-based products.
  * On 22 November 2004, CAT announced a major strategic alliance with
    AstraZeneca to discover and develop human antibody therapeutics in
    inflammatory disorders.
  * CAT has a broad collaboration with Genzyme for the development and
    commercialisation of antibodies directed against TGF beta, a family of
    proteins associated with fibrosis and scarring.
  * CAT has also licensed its proprietary technologies to several companies.
    CAT's licensees include: Abbott, Amgen, Chugai, Genzyme, Human Genome
    Sciences, Merck & Co, Pfizer and Wyeth Research.
  * CAT is listed on the London Stock Exchange and on NASDAQ. CAT raised
    41m Pounds Sterling in its IPO in March 1997 and 93m pounds in
    a secondary offering in March 2000.

  CAT - Abbott Litigation
  * CAT's entitlement to royalties in relation to sales of HUMIRA is
    governed by an agreement dated 1 April 1995 between Cambridge Antibody
    Technology Limited and Knoll Aktiengesellschaft. The agreement allows
    for offset, in certain circumstances, of royalties due to third parties
    against royalties due to CAT, subject to a minimum royalty level.
  * In March 2003, Abbott indicated to CAT its wish to initiate discussions
    regarding the applicability of the royalty offset provisions for HUMIRA.
    Following unsuccessful efforts to resolve the matter with Abbott, CAT
    commenced legal proceedings against Abbott Biotechnology Limited and
    Abbott GmbH.
  * The trial, which took place at the High Court in London, began on 22
    November 2004 and lasted three weeks.
  * On 20 December 2004, the judge, Mr Justice Laddie, ruled in CAT's favour
    stating that "Abbott was in error when it made its first royalty payment
    to CAT calculated on the basis that only 2% of the Net Sales was due. It
    should have calculated on the basis of the full royalty of just over 5%
    and should have paid and continued to pay CAT accordingly."
  * On 28 January 2005, CAT reported the decisions of Mr Justice Laddie on
    various procedural matters, including the denial of Abbott's request for
    permission to appeal.
  * On 11 February 2005, Abbott made a written application to the Court of
    Appeal for permission to appeal Mr Justice Laddie's judgment of 20
    December 2004.
  * In January 2005, Abbott paid to CAT US$23.73 million, representing
    royalty arrears due to CAT arising from the original judgment, and an
    additional sum of US$1.29 million, representing interest and
    compensation for currency loss on this amount. Abbott also paid CAT 2.85
    million pounds representing an interim payment of legal costs due. These
    amounts are not reflected in the first quarter results announced on 7
    February 2005. Were Abbott to be successful in its appeal these amounts
    would be repayable.
  * Pending resolution of Abbott's appeal, the royalty arrears payment will
    not be recognised as revenue, the payment on account of costs will not
    be recognised in the profit and loss account and revenue in respect of
    subsequent royalty receipts will only be recognised at the two per cent
    rate argued by Abbott. A proportion of CAT's royalty receipts, and of
    the royalty arrears payment, are payable to the Medical Research Council
    and other licensors.

Application of the Safe Harbor of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains statements about Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc ("CAT") that are forward looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release may be forward looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the company's present and future business strategies and the environment in which the company will operate in the future. Certain factors that could cause the company's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements include: market conditions, CAT's ability to enter into and maintain collaborative arrangements, success of product candidates in clinical trials, regulatory developments and competition. We caution investors not to place undue reliance on the forward looking statements contained in this press release. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise the statements.

Cambridge Antibody Technology

CONTACT: Cambridge Antibody Technology - Peter Chambre, Chief ExecutiveOfficer, or John Aston, Chief Financial Officer, or Rowena Gardner, Directorof Corporate Communications, +44-0-1223-471-471; or Kevin Smith, YvonneAlexander, both of Weber Shandwick Square Mile (Europe) - +44-0-20-7067-0700;or Brad Miles, +1-212-477-9007, ext 17 (media), or Brandon Lewis,+1-212-477-9007, ext 15 (investors), both of BMC Communications/The TroutGroup (USA)


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