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August 2005
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October 2005

Third Wave involved in new patent fight

Third Wave involved in new patent fight

The Capital Times
September 30, 2005

The patent battles continue for Third Wave Technologies, as the Madison-based genetic technology company won another round in an old lawsuit and also faced a new lawsuit.

Third Wave announced Thursday that it has been granted a permanent injunction by federal court in Madison that prohibits Stratagene Corp. from making, selling or offering to sell its FullVelocity products and any other products that practice Third Wave's patented Invader method.

The permanent injunction also prohibits Stratagene from inducing or contributing to other infringing activities, and requires that Stratagene notify its customers and collaborators that its FullVelocity products infringe on Third Wave patents.

A federal jury earlier this month found Stratagene guilty of willfully infringing two key Third Wave patents and awarded Third Wave $5.3 million in damages. Third Wave is seeking additional damages, given the willful infringement verdict, with a decision expected before the end of the year.


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Stem cell bank to be in Madison

Stem cell bank to be in Madison
Phill Trewyn
The National Institutes of Health has chosen Madison to be home to the nation's first national stem cell bank.

The stem cell bank will likely be located at the WiCell Research Institute, a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to advance stem cell research.

Full story.


Real-time MRI helps doctors assess beating heart in fetus

Advanced imaging improves tools for evaluating heart disease before birth

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques can provide real-time measurements of volume in a fetal heart, and may better enable physicians to plan care for infants with heart defects, according to a new study. By producing three-dimensional measurements, functional MRIs may represent an advance over the current technology, fetal echocardiography.

"With echocardiography, the heart looks like a shadow. It looks more like a heart with real-time MRI, with excellent soft tissue contrast," said pediatric cardiologist Mark A. Fogel, M.D., director of Cardiac MRI at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. A research team led by Dr. Fogel reported preliminary findings based on studies on two fetuses in the September/October 2005 issue of Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy. It was the first example of functional MRI used for cardiac imaging in fetuses.

MRI produces three-dimensional images, whereas echocardiography typically relies on geometric assumptions to measure how big the heart is in the fetus, added Dr. Fogel. One consequence of this capability is that MRI can directly measure the volume of the heart's ventricles.

Heart

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WARF-Promega deal pushes tech to market

WARF-Promega deal pushes tech to market

The Capital Times
September 29, 2005

Fitchburg-based Promega Corp. is the first company to sign onto a program designed to push life sciences technologies developed at UW-Madison into the real world.

Promega is paying an undisclosed fee to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for the right to test out the technologies. The company then can license those it wants.

"With an easier path to licensing technologies, ultimately, we can provide new products to life scientists sooner," said Randy Dimond, Promega chief technical officer. "Just as importantly, it means we can work closely with UW scientists when their research may lead to commercial products for the life science industry."

Elizabeth Donley, WARF business development director, called Promega "an ideal partner" for the program, which eventually is expected to expand to a handful of companies.

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Jury: Johnson & Johnson stole patent from Florida cancer specialists

Jury: Johnson & Johnson stole patent from Florida cancer specialists

ATLANTIS, Fla. (AP) -- A federal jury says Johnson and Johnson stole a patent for an implant used in breast cancer detection from two Florida breast cancer specialists.

The jury has ordered the company to pay the pair two million dollars.

The Miami jury says the company must also agree to give Atlantis surgeon John Corbitt and physician assistant Lori Leonetti ten percent of an estimated 39 million in annual revenue from the implant if Johnson and Johnson wants to continue selling it.

Officials from a Johnson and Johnson subsidiary say they don't believe any patent laws had been violated, and they would consider an appeal.

Full story.


Cloning ban heads toward expected veto

Cloning ban heads toward expected veto
Senate passes bill; Doyle says it targets stem cell studies
By STEVEN WALTERS
swalters@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Sept. 28, 2005

Madison - The Legislature on Wednesday sent Gov. Jim Doyle a bill that would make Wisconsin the eighth state to ban human cloning, but the governor insisted that the real target is stem cell research and promised to veto the measure.

The state Senate voted 21-12 to send Doyle the same ban on cloning passed by the Assembly.

Two Democrats, Sens. Jeff Plale of South Milwaukee and Roger Breske of the Town of Eland, joined all 19 Republicans in voting for the bill.

The 21 Senate votes is one fewer than the two-thirds majority needed to force the ban (AB 499) into law over the governor's objection.

Full story.


Promega IDs a growing sector

Promega IDs a growing sector
00:00 am 9/29/05
JUDY NEWMAN jdnewman@madison.com

They're the types of tools used on television programs like "CSI" to help identify suspects and solve crimes.

In real life, they have been used to finger the 2002 Washington, D.C., snipers and to identify victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Light-years beyond fingerprints, footprints and blood type, they are the test tubes and solutions used in DNA analysis - to identify people down to the very core of their cells.

And in Fitchburg is one of two U.S. companies that are the main producers of genetic identification tools.

Promega Corp. is a leader in developing the technology that's taken center-stage for implicating crime suspects - or exonerating them. In one well-known Wisconsin case, convicted rapist Steven Avery was freed in 2003 after DNA evidence showed he didn't commit the crime for which he had spent 18 years in prison.

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10-year plan lays out spending to improve state's power grid

Billions for power lines
10-year plan lays out spending to improve state's power grid
By THOMAS CONTENT
tcontent@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Sept. 27, 2005

A new long-range plan for the state's power grid to be unveiled today calls for spending $3.4 billion over the next 10 years to build additional power lines and improve existing lines, American Transmission Co. said.

The plan calls for almost 500 miles of new power lines and about 1,000 miles of rebuilt or upgraded lines in southern and north central Wisconsin.

The $3.4 billion estimate represents a jump of $600 million, or 21%, from a similar plan the company presented last fall. ATC already has spent nearly $500 million on power line improvements in the past several years.

"We're addressing the needs, but the needs are still there and we're still focusing on them," said Don Morrow, the company's director of planning.

The rising costs to shore up the state's power grid come at a time of soaring energy prices - both at the gas pump and for home heating. The state has also seen big jumps in the price of electricity in recent years.

Full story.


Senate set to pass ban on human cloning

Senate set to pass ban on human cloning
Doyle promises veto; exemption to allow research to fight diseases is rejected in close vote
By STEVEN WALTERS
swalters@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Sept. 27, 2005

Madison - The state Senate was poised today to pass a bill banning human cloning - with no exception for research to fight crippling diseases - after an initial vote Tuesday showed the ban had enough votes to pass.

But Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle will veto the bill, which has already passed the Assembly, said Doyle aide Melanie Fonder.

"Everyone is against human cloning, but the real purpose for this bill is to prevent stem-cell research, and the governor will veto it," Fonder added.

In emotional debate Tuesday, senators refused, on a 17-16 vote, to exempt therapeutic research, which legislators said is not yet being done in Wisconsin. Some argued that such research offers hope to those suffering diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis and from spinal cord injuries.

After that, Democrats then delayed to today a final vote on the bill (AB 599).

The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan), and leaders of Wisconsin Right to Life, which is pushing the change, said it has more than enough votes to pass the Senate.

Full story.


Johnson Controls works on new battery technology

Company joins drive for hybrid vehicles
Johnson Controls works on new battery technology
By THOMAS CONTENT
tcontent@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Sept. 27, 2005

With gas prices soaring, and sales of hybrid vehicles expected to double this year, Johnson Controls is moving to cash in on the battery-assisted car boom with a new $4 million laboratory.

The company today will unveil the lab that will be used as a proving ground for next-generation hybrid batteries, a potential source of big business in the years ahead.

The center of activity is three small rooms tucked inside its Battery Technology Center, adjacent to Johnson's corporate headquarters in Glendale.

Full story.