Harvard, 10x say Vizgen infringes genomics patents


Alex Baldwin

Harvard, 10x say Vizgen infringes genomics patents

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Harvard College and 10x Genomics have sued Vizgen, claiming that the Massachusetts-based biotech rival infringes five patents covering molecular analysis methods.

The complaint, filed with the US District Court for the District of Delaware on Tuesday, May 3, claims that Vizgen’s in-development genomic platform infringes patents covering “Compositions and Methods for Analyte Detection”.

The patents in suit are US Patent 11,021,737, 11,293,051, 11,293,052, 11,293,054, and 11,299,767 and are exclusively licensed to 10x.

In 2020, 10x acquired ReadCoor, a genome sequencing company founded by George Church, a professor at Harvard, acquiring its IP related to “in situ” analysis, which involves analysing a large number of molecules directly in tissue samples.

10x is now developing its new “Xenium” platform, an in situ analysis technology designed to create “spatial maps of gene expression in the original tissue at true cellular and subcellular resolutions”.

The complaint says that the technology “allows researchers and clinicians to build a comprehensive map—a kind of Google Earth—of where each analyte is, so that function can be tied to location.”

Nearly half a year since the acquisition of ReadCoor, Vizgen announced the launch of “Merscope” genomics platform in March 2021, which 10x claims practices the asserted patents.

10X notified Vizgen with a letter detailing how its Merscope platform infringes the five patents “on or around” May 2, 2022.

The complaint requests that the court rule that the patents are infringed by Vizgen’s genomics platform, serve a permanent injunction enjoining Vizgen from infringing, and a monetary award to compensate for damages resulting from the infringement.

In March, both 10x and Harvard sued another rival genomics company Nanostring Technologies, claiming that its “CosMx” imaging platform infringes two of its patents for gene-mapping technology.

The Nanostring lawsuit also claims that the company infringes technology developed in part by ReadCoor following its acquisition by 10x.

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Harvard College, Vizgen, US District Court for the District of Delaware, patents