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Igen's third-quarter loss narrows as revenue grows


Igen International Inc. said yesterday that its fiscal third-quarter loss narrowed as revenue grew and litigation costs were offset by a payment from its rival in a breach-of-contract suit, Roche Diagnostics.

Based in Gaithersburg, the maker of diagnostic tests said it lost $9.2 million, or 48 cents per share, on revenue of $10.4 million. That compares with a loss of $16 millon, or $1.04 per share, on revenue of $8.5 million in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2000.

The company said the 23 percent increase in quarterly revenue was due to increases in royalty income, product sales and contract revenue.

The company's royalty income, primarily generated from sales of Roche Diagnostics tests that use Igen technology, increased 29 percent to $5.5 million.

Last month, a U.S. District Court jury awarded Igen $505 million in damages in the case against Roche, to which Igen had licensed a technology used in medical diagnostic tests.

The verdict, after a 10-week trial that began Oct. 23 in court in Greenbelt, also gave Igen the right to terminate its agreement with Roche and the rights to Roche instruments and tests that use Igen's technology. Roche has said it plans to file an appeal.

In November, the two companies settled a separate patent infringement case Roche had brought against Igen. Roche paid the company $5.7 million in legal fees and dismissed all claims in that case.

Roche Diagnostics is a unit of Basel, Switzerland-based Roche Holding, a pharmaceutical company.

Igen shares rose $1.72 yesterday to close at $37.70 prior to its earnings report, which was issued after the market closed.

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