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

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  • NYC Bone Seminar on September 26th: Arron Posner onBisphosphonates in Federal Patent Court

    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 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


    POSTER PRESENTATION AT THE SEMINAR: In addition to the podium
    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 ( 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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