§ Mr. Darling
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what information he has as to the ownership and disposal of all material produced under the agreement between Cogent Ltd. and the CSA of the Health Service to carry out research work into the production of monoclonal antibodies against human retrovirus at Edinburgh university; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what was the total value of funding contributed by (a) the CSA of the Health Service and (b) Cogent Ltd. in pursuance of the contract between them to carry out research into the production of monoclonal antibodies against human retrovirus at Edinburgh university; and if he will make a statement;
(3) why the contract between the Common Services Agency of the Health Service and Cogent Ltd. to produce monoclonal antibodies against human retrovirus at Edinburgh university was terminated; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The contract was suspended in June 1989 by Cogent Ltd. following attempts by UnivEd Technologies (the commercial arm of the university of Edinburgh) to negotiate with Cogent financial and intellectual property rights in the project to which Cogent were unable to agree. Discussions continue between the Common Services Agency and Cogent Ltd. with a view to arranging formal termination of the contract in such a way as to safeguard the interests of both parties.
The agreement between the Common Services Agency and Cogent Ltd. relates to the development of antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus which might prove of potential value in the treatment of patients. A number of 193W antibodies were produced prior to suspension of the project although none was deemed suitable for development for patient therapy. The ownership and disposal of material produced under the agreement will require to be dealt with in terminating the agreement. The CSA has contributed £67,000 and Cogent Ltd. £175,000 to the project.