7 October 2014Americas

Sequenom buys Isis patent portfolio

US life sciences analysis company Sequenom has agreed a multi-million dollar deal to buy patents related to prenatal testing from UK-based technology transfer company Isis Innovation.

The deal, worth $14.55 million, will result in Sequenom becoming the owner of global IP for non-invasive prenatal genetic diagnostic testing that was previously owned by Isis, which is attached to the UK’s University of Oxford.

Among the technologies included are patents that cover paternally inherited fetal nucleic acids derived from maternal plasma or serum.

The portfolio includes patents issued around the world including in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Sequenom previously had exclusive rights to the patents as part of a licensing agreement with Isis established in 2005.

The new agreement, announced yesterday (October 6), sees Sequenom become the rightful owner, although Isis has rights in certain fields of use.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

"The patents purchased will enable us to strengthen our IP position worldwide, while reducing future expenditures," said William Welch, chief executive at Sequenom.

"We look forward to leveraging this important IP for additional applications of our technology in the future," he added.

The deal includes $3.2 million as the final royalty payment due to Isis under the previous agreement.

Isis Innovation is the research and technology commercialisation company of the University of Oxford.  It provides access to technology from researchers through IP licensing, spin-out company formation and material sales.

San Diego-based Sequenom aims to improving health care through genomic and genetic analysis.

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