Los Angeles – March 29, 2007 — Cancer Therapeutics Laboratories (CTL), a California-based biopharmaceutical company committed to the research, development and commercialization of cancer treating therapies, today announced that it has filed a cross-complaint against Tustin, Calif.-based Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PPHM), in a licensing rights dispute over an antibody technology called Tumor Necrosis Therapy (TNT), a method used for locating and killing cancer cells.
In late September 1995, CTL and PPHM entered into an agreement whereby PPHM would grant CTL an exclusive license to certain PPHM technology and CTL’s Chinese sponsor would provide CTL with research and development funding to develop the Tumor Necrosis Therapy (TNT) technology. As part of the Techniclone Agreement, CTL’s research results and products using the TNT technology would be licensed to CTL for use within the Peoples’ Republic of China and to PPHM for use outside of China. CTL and its Chinese partner went to great lengths and costs to conduct clinical trials of the TNT product to market in China.
In 2004, CTL and its joint venture partner received final approval in China for the TNT-related, lung cancer treating product. In January 2007, before the product went to market, PPHM purported to terminate its licensing agreement with CTL, and it sued CTL alleging breach of that agreement. Simultaneously, PPHM announced it was forming its own subsidiary in China for purposes of bringing its own cancer therapy product to market there.
"Peregrine’s suit has absolutely no merit," said Dr. Alan Epstein, a principal owner of CTL and one of the inventors of the TNT technology. "They wrongfully terminated our agreement."
"This case reminds me of a 2004 case that I tried where a large company sued a doctor and a small company in the hope of gaining leverage only to result in a significant loss for the company at trial," said Stanley M. Gibson, a trial attorney at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP, who represents CTL.
As a result of Peregrine’s actions, CTL has filed a cross-complaint against PPHM for breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, tortious interference with a contract, unjust enrichment, promissory fraud and rescission. Based on these claims, CTL is seeking damages and a rescission of the Techniclone Agreement, to recover all assets and value delivered to PPHM, all chimeric TNT clones, including but not limited to products based on the chimeric TNT clones, and all other property contributed by CTL to PPHM in reliance on PPHM’s promises, according to the cross-complaint.