View Full Version : NYC Bone Seminar on September 26th: Arron Posner onBisphosphonates in Federal Patent Court

Steve Cowin
09-20-2002, 02:52 AM
To Bone Researchers in the NYC area:
The NYC mineralized tissue seminar will have its first
seminar in the Spring 2002 series on Thursday night, September 26th.
The speaker is Arron Posner who is a Scientist Emeritus at the
Hospital For Special Surgery. He will speak on Bisphosphonates in
Federal Patent Court. An abstract of this talk and a description of
Arron's research interests are given below. The same information on
the other spring seminar speakers is posted on www.bonenet.net and
will be circulated as the date of each seminar approaches.

SEPTEMBER 26th, 2002 in room 9205 at the CUNY Graduate Center at 7 PM.

Speaker: AARON S. POSNER, Ph.D. Scientist Emeritus, Hospital For
Special Surgery; Professor Emeritus, Cornell University Medical


Abstract: This lecture recounts the adventures of a retired professor
in a patent case: Merck & Co., Inc. (plaintiff) v. Teva
Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Zenith Goldline Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(defendants). The defendants claimed to the FDA that Merck's patent
for the widely prescribed bisphosphonate, Fosamax, was invalid and
they intended to make and sell a generic of this drug; Merck sued to
prevent this action. Dr. Posner was hired as an expert witness for
Zenith because of his research and teaching in the hard tissue field.

Background will be given in the biochemistry and clinical application
of bisphosphonates, particularly in both bone loss and pathological
calcification. It is their Ca-binding property that makes these
compounds useful as both chemical detergents and clinical bone
seekers. As an example of the latter, Technecium-labelled Etidronate
(1, hydroxyethylidene bisphosphonate) has long had an important
application in the radiation imaging of bone dyscrasias (skeletal

In the trial, the defendants' case rested upon two major points: (1)
there is an earlier patent for alendronic acid which supersedes
Merck's patent for this material; (2) Merck is making and selling a
sodium salt of alendronic acid although they only hold the (disputed)
patent for the acid form. The court arguments and the decision will
be related in detail.

INTERESTS OF AARON POSNER: The speaker has been active in the field
of hard tissue research since 1950. His major efforts were on the
nature of hard tissue at the molecular level and the mechanisms of
normal and pathological tissue mineralization. After retiring from
Cornell Medical Center at the end of 1986 he taught a graduate course
in bone biochemistry at Columbia University School of Dental and Oral
Surgery for a number of years. At the same time, since retirement, he
has taught cultural (sic) courses at one of the SUNY colleges in
Westchester County, New York. However, Dr. Posner's major retirement
interest has been and continues to be sculpting in different forms
including stone cutting, bronze casting and marionette making. Go


speaker, there is the possibility of two poster presentations at each
seminar. The poster boards will be in the room of the podium talk.
The podium talk will begin at 7 PM and the poster presenters are
asked to have their posters up by 6:30 PM and to be available between
6:30 and 7 PM and between 8 and 8:30 PM to discuss their poster with
the attendees. In order to make a poster presentation send Steve
Cowin (scccc@cunyvm.cuny.edu) the following three items for the
announcement of the seminar and posters: (1) poster presenter name
and affiliation, (2) title and abstract and (3) research interests of
the poster presenter. Please transmit this information about 10 days
before the seminar. If there are more than two submissions,
Preference will be given to posters related to the topic talk.
Students would be encouraged to submit posters.
The poster boards supplied by the CUNY graduate school have a
"pin-able" area that is 45 inches wide and about 65 inches tall.
However the bottom of the board is so very low it is only good for
creatures whose eyes are about 20 inches above the ground, thus there
is a usable area of about 45 inches square.


The Interinstitutional Steering Committee (ISC) will make decisions
concerning the seminar series, including the selection of speakers.
Interesting, high quality seminar speakers are sought. Seminar
attendees are asked to help in the identification of investigators
with new results relative to the bone research, questions of current
interest and distinguished bone researchers visiting New York City
who might be persuaded to present a seminar. Presentations by
advanced graduate students and post-docs are encouraged.
The members of the Interinstitutional Steering Committee (ISC) are
Adele Boskey (Head of the Mineralized Tissue Section at the Hospital
for Special Surgery and Professor of Biochemistry at the Weill
Medical College of Cornell University), Timothy Bromage (Director of
the Hard Tissue Research Unit and Professor of Anthropology at Hunter
College of CUNY), Stephen C. Cowin (Director of the New York Center
for Biomedical Engineering (NYCBE) and Professor of Biomedical and
Mechanical Engineering at the City College of the City University of
New York (CUNY)), Susannah P. Fritton (Director of the Tissue
Mechanics Laboratory, New York Center for Biomedical Engineering and
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the City College of
CUNY), X. Edward Guo (Director of the Bone Bioengineering Laboratory
and Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Columbia University),
Clinton T. Rubin (Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical
Engineering, and Director of the Center for Advanced Technology in
Medical Biotechnology at SUNY Stony Brook) and Mitchell B. Schaffler
(Director of Orthopaedic Research and Professor of Orthopedics, Cell
Biology and Anatomy at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine). Each of
these people represents a community consisting of senior bone
research people, graduate students and, in most cases, undergraduate


Stephen C. Cowin
Director, New York Center for Biomedical Engineering
School of Engineering
The City College
138th Street and Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031-9198, U. S. A.

Phone (212) 799-7970 (Office at Home)
Fax (212) 799-7970 (Office at Home)
Phone (212) 650-5208 (Work)


For bone research information, visit .
Stephen C. Cowin
2166 Broadway
Apartment 12D
New York, NY 10024

Phone (212) 799-7970 (Office at Home)
Fax (212) 799-7970 (Office at Home)
Phone (212) 650-5208 (Work)
Fax (212) 650-6727 (Work)

Stephen C. Cowin
Director, New York Center for Biomedical Engineering
School of Engineering
The City College
138th Street and Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031-9198, U. S. A.
For information about the New York Center for Biomedical
Engineering visit

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