Ruling Ends Core Patent Dispute Between Cross-Town Rivals, SkinMedica and Histogen
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the companies’ patent filings. The patent infringement allegations formed the core part of SkinMedica’s case, but its complaint also includes other allegations, such as misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract.
Brandt says the issues that remain constitute “a very small piece of the case that does not affect our ability to do business or provide skin care services.” Still, it’s unclear whether SkinMedica intends to appeal the ruling or press ahead on other aspects of its complaint. SkinMedica’s lawyers did not immediately respond to my queries earlier today.
Histogen, which was founded in 2007, was still in startup mode when SkinMedica filed its patent suit in early 2009. At that time, Histogen’s CEO told me the allegations prompted a group of angel investors to withdraw their planned $2.4 million investment, triggering a funding crisis that forced Histogen to lay off all 36 of its employees.
Histogen’s workforce is now back to 21 employees, Brandt says, and the company has restarted negotiations with potential strategic partners. She says Histogen also has restarted early stage clinical trials of its treatment for hair loss in Asia, but she’s reluctant to say how long it will be before the company is ready to launch a hair restoration product in the U.S. market. Because Histogen’s product must be injected in the scalp, Brandt says the experimental hair loss treatment would be regulated as a biologic that requires FDA approval.