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31 August 2021AmericasAlex Baldwin

Jury rules Qiagen infringed two gene patents

A US District Court for the District of Delaware jury found that German genetics company Qiagen willfully infringed two patents owned by ArcherDX and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Qiagen failed to convince the jury why US patents 10,017,810 and 10,450,957, which relate nucleotide and nucleic acid sequencing, were invalid for obviousness.

Both patents cover ArcherDX’s “anchored multiplex PCR technology” (AMP) which is used in  Archer’s VariantPlex, FusionPlex, Reveal ctDNA, and immunoverse assay kit products.

With the validity upheld, the jury ruled that Qiagen’s own assay kits infringed on the two patents, awarding the hospital and ArcherDX a total of $4.7 million in damages, in a verdict handed down on Friday, August 27.

Archer and Qiagen

In 2013, Archer entered into a licence agreement with the Massachusetts General Hospital to leverage the hospital’s technology to develop commercialised gene sequencing kits.

In August 2013, Archer was acquired by the Massachusetts-based Enzymatics, a supplier of enzymes used in genetic analysis technology, as part of Enzymatics, Archer launched its first AMP kit in 2014.

In 2014, Qiagen acquired Enzymatics. In the transaction, Archer was spun off as an independent company and was not acquired by Qiagen. In the transaction, Enzymatics, transferred several rights related to the PCR technology back to Archer.

Following the transaction, Archer sought to assist Qiagen with the development of kits using Archer’s AMP technology, but after an analysis of Qiagen’s GeneReader instrument, Archer concluded that it did not meet the specifications for Archer’s AMP technology.

Both parties also discussed terms of distributing Archer’s technology but could not agree to terms regarding the potential development of new products for Qiagen’s GeneReady instruments.

Shortly after discussions between the two parties stopped in 2016, Qiagen released its QIAseq Kits, which allegedly incorporate Archer’s patented technology and Archer Trade Secrets.

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