LAVVAN files $881 million patent infringement lawsuit against Amyris

LAVVAN files $881 million patent infringement lawsuit against Amyris

10:10 AM, 15th September 2020
LAVVAN produces a range of natural cannabinoid ingredients (from cannabis) using its advanced cellular agriculture platform which supplies cannabinoids to a range of industries including health, beauty, food & beverage and pharmaceuticals. (Representative Image)

NEW YORK, US: LAVVAN Inc announced that it has filed an $881 million lawsuit against biotechnology company Amyris Inc relating to Amyris's use of intellectual property licensed exclusively to LAVVAN, as well as the misappropriation of LAVVAN's trade secrets.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

"LAVVAN owns exclusive rights to the intellectual property which Amyris is wrongfully using in connection with their development, testing and production of biosynthetic cannabinoids, including CBG," said LAVVAN CEO Neil Closner.

"Amyris has falsely claimed that our agreement permits them to engage in these activities, but it plainly does not. We are very disappointed that we have had to take this step, but through a history of erratic and egregious conduct, Amyris has demonstrated a willful intention to undermine the agreement. This has left LAVVAN with no choice but to vigorously pursue all legal avenues available to protect its rights."

LAVVAN and Amyris signed a research, collaboration and license agreement in March 2019 and LAVVAN made the initial payment under the agreement in May 2019.
"LAVVAN assembled a world class team and has been eager to lead the multi-billion-dollar biosynthetic cannabinoid market," Closner stated.

"But rather than fulfill its obligations to LAVVAN under the Agreement, Amyris has decided to transform from partner to direct competitor, in flagrant violation of LAVVAN's rights."
At no point has Amyris achieved a single subsequent milestone under the Agreement, nor has any milestone payment ever been owing by LAVVAN.

LAVVAN is seeking damages for Amyris's misappropriation of trade secrets and patent infringement, as well as a permanent injunction to prevent Amyris from wrongfully using LAVVAN's trade secrets and other intellectual property, among other relief.

In a separate announcement, Amyris said it had entered into a research, collaboration and license agreement (RCL) with LAVVAN in March 2019 valued at $300 million in milestone payments to be made by LAVVAN to Amyris along with a royalty arrangement based on LAVVAN's commercial sales of designated biosynthetic cannabinoids.
LAVVAN made a single payment of $10 million in 2019 for delivery of the first technical milestone.

Here, Amyris clarified the following points:
Continued to deploy R&D resources to LAVVAN program:
Amyris has been deploying its R&D resources in accordance with the RCL agreement since the start of the collaboration program with LAVVAN and has continued to work toward the collaboration deliverables through 2020.

The excluded market:
The RCL agreement permits Amyris to conduct its development and commercialization efforts with regards to cannabinoids in the excluded market as defined under the RCL agreement.
Amyris will continue to exercise its rights to bring unique biosynthetic solutions to market within the boundaries of the RCL agreement. Amyris will make the RCL agreement, as amended, publicly available on a Form 8-K.

2020 revenue expectation not impacted:
Amyris de-risked its 2020 sales revenue expectation by significantly reducing collaboration revenue anticipated from the RCL agreement. Accordingly, Amyris does not expect a negative revenue impact for the balance of the year caused by the RCL agreement.
"At Amyris, we have built the leading synthetic biology platform and have achieved successful commercialization of eight of our ten scaled-up fermentation molecules through strategic collaborations and partnerships with some of the world's leading companies," said John Melo, president and CEO.
"Over the years, we have achieved in excess of $650 million in proceeds from these partnerships. Amyris is disappointed that LAVVAN has chosen the public domain to articulate its position. Amyris has not breached the RCL agreement with LAVVAN and we will continue to operate in accordance with its terms. We will pursue our legal rights to the fullest extent possible, including a vigorous defense against any assertions made by LAVVAN."

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