This article has been updated to include a comment from Source MDx.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular diagnostics developer XDx has asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to review a patent for immune system monitoring methods based on gene expression, the company said today. The patent, No. 6,964,850, was originally filed in 2002 and was assigned to the Boulder, Colo.-based company Source MDx.
The ‘850 patent, titled "Identification, Monitoring and Treatment of Disease and Characterization of Biological Condition Using Gene Expression Profiles," makes a claim to “methods for creating an index of a patient’s biological state pertaining to inflammation,” the company said.
XDx said that it has filed the request to have the patent re-examined because it believes prior art references available before the ‘850 patent’s earliest priority date raise “substantial new questions about the patentability of certain of the patent’s claims.”
“We’re totally confident that the patent office is going to stand by the patent,” Karl Wassman, who is CEO of Source MDx, told GenomeWeb Daily News
. He added that XDx will have to “prove that there is prior art that the patent office has not seen before,” and he expressed doubt that that is what the patent office will find.
Brisbane, Calif.-based XDx has developed a method for noninvasively monitoring the immune system by measuring gene expression in peripheral blood. The firm said that its technology potentially could help lower healthcare costs associated with a variety of immune-mediated diseases.