Medtronic to appeal CoreValve jury verdict

Medtronic says it plans to appeal the $73.5 million jury verdict that its CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve system infringes a U.S. Andersen patent owned by Edwards Lifesciences. The CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve system is designed to enable replacement of a diseased aortic valve without open-heart surgery or surgical removal of the diseased valve. It isn't currently available in the U.S. for clinical trials or for sale.

Edwards' execs were pleased with the decision. "Protection of our intellectual property allows us to aggressively innovate this technology that is so important for patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis. We're actively working with the FDA to bring this therapy to U.S. patients," says Larry Wood, Edwards' corporate vice president, transcatheter valve replacement.

The verdict in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware won't affect Medtronic's ability to sell CoreValve products internationally or to conduct clinical trials in the U.S., the company says in a statement. It pertains to an Andersen patent that is set to expire before CoreValve products are expected to be approved by the FDA. In the event of a U.S. injunction, Medtronic has manufacturing capabilities for CoreValve products outside the country to ensure continued supply.

"Medtronic is disappointed that the jury in this case reached a different conclusion than courts in England and Germany, where the CoreValve product was found not to infringe related European Andersen patents owned by Edwards," says Scott Ward, senior vice president of Medtronic and president of the CardioVascular business. "We will file appropriate motions and appeals to challenge the jury verdict."

Medtronic says it will also oppose any effort by Edwards to seek an injunction of the CoreValve in the U.S.

- see Medtronic's statement
- check out Edwards' release