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J&J-Immunicon Dispute Highlights Challenges Of Exclusive Agreements

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

A sales and marketing relationship gone sour between cancer diagnostic developer Immunicon and a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary illustrates the risks firms take when choosing an exclusive distributor

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Veridex reigns in Immunicon

Diagnostics maker Immunicon lost its bid to end a 20-year exclusive marketing agreement with Johnson & Johnson/Veridex March 3, when the American Arbitration Association found that Veridex did not fault on its agreement to use its "best efforts" to market Immunicon's CellSearch circulating tumor cell assay, as Immunicon had alleged (1"The Gray Sheet" June 11, 2007, p. 10). Veridex also triumphed on its counterclaim that Immunicon was in "material breach" of the contract and was awarded $304,013. CellSearch is FDA-cleared to predict progression-free and overall survival in patients with metastatic breast, colorectal or prostate cancers

Veridex reigns in Immunicon

Diagnostics maker Immunicon lost its bid to end a 20-year exclusive marketing agreement with Johnson & Johnson/Veridex March 3, when the American Arbitration Association found that Veridex did not fault on its agreement to use its "best efforts" to market Immunicon's CellSearch circulating tumor cell assay, as Immunicon had alleged (1"The Gray Sheet" June 11, 2007, p. 10). Veridex also triumphed on its counterclaim that Immunicon was in "material breach" of the contract and was awarded $304,013. CellSearch is FDA-cleared to predict progression-free and overall survival in patients with metastatic breast, colorectal or prostate cancers

Cancer test clearance

Johnson & Johnson/Veridex gains 510(k) clearance for use of its CellSearch test system as an aid in monitoring metastatic colorectal cancer. The system, which counts circulating tumor cells, is already cleared to help monitor metastatic beast cancer. The CellSearch test reagents are supplied by Immunicon, but that company is seeking to terminate the exclusive marketing agreement it has with Veridex (1"The Gray Sheet" June 11, 2007, p. 10)

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