A federal lawsuit over a strain of mice developed by The Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor has been dismissed after the parties agreed to arbitration in the dispute.

Jackson Lab filed the suit in September, alleging that Nanjing University was breeding and reselling a strain of mice that Jackson Lab had developed.

The Bar Harbor company is a leading breeder of mice used in medical research. Starting in 2002, Jackson Lab sold to the university mice that had been bred to have an extremely deficient immune system.

The deficient immune system allowed researchers to introduce human cells or tissues into the mice without triggering an immune system response, making the strain of mice important in research into how the human immune system works, along with stem cell biology and treating diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

When Jackson Lab sells strains of mice it develops, it allows buyers to breed the mice only for research into how diseases and treatments affect subsequent generations of mice.

The suit alleged that Nanjing University, which is about 100 miles northwest of Shanghai, bred the mice from Jackson Lab and then offered them for sale, including via an ad on a university web site.

The Maine company sent cease-and-desist letters to the university and tried to trigger an arbitration clause in the sales contract, but were put off by Nanjing University officials.

Jackson Lab filed a motion Monday to dismiss the suit after Nanjing University agreed to take the issue before an arbitrator and a judge agreed Tuesday to dismiss the suit.

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