Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

10x Genomics Sues NanoString for Infringement of Church Lab Spatial Analysis Patents

NEW YORK – 10x Genomics has sued NanoString Technologies, alleging that NanoString's new CosMx spatial molecular imager infringes two patents licensed by 10x from George Church's lab at the Wyss Institute and Harvard Medical School.

In a complaint filed Monday in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, 10x said that CosMx infringes US Patent Nos. 10,227,639 and 11,021,737, both titled "Compositions and Methods for Analyte Detection." 10x asked the court for a declaration that NanoString infringed the patents and for a permanent injunction against NanoString, as well as a jury trial.

The lawsuit escalates a legal battle over spatial genomics intellectual property that 10x initiated in May 2021, when it sued NanoString in the Delaware District Court, alleging that the GeoMx digital spatial profiler technology infringed seven patents: US Patent Nos. 10,472,669; 10,662,467; 10,961,566; 10,983,113; 10,996,219; 11,001,878; and 11,008,607. 10x has licensed the patents, all titled "Spatially encoded biological assays," from San Diego-based Prognosys Biosciences.

"Since inception, 10x has invested more than $1 billion in R&D to invent breakthrough technologies that have catalyzed a revolution in genomics," 10x said in a statement. "We will protect those investments and vigorously defend our products and broad intellectual property portfolio against those that infringe it."

Regarding the new lawsuit, NanoString has "evaluated the plaintiffs' claims and [we] do not believe that our activities infringe any patent rights held by the plaintiffs," Doug Farrell, NanoString VP of investor relations and corporate communications, said in an email. "We intend to vigorously defend ourselves and are preparing our answer to the complaint."

10x obtained rights to the Harvard patents in 2020 when it acquired ReadCoor, a Church lab spinout pursuing in situ methods for sequencing and other molecular analyses, for $350 million. At the time, 10x noted that the ReadCoor deal, along with the simultaneous purchase of in situ RNA analysis firm Cartana, gave it control of more than 110 patents covering methods that "will give scientists the ability to measure large numbers of molecules directly in tissue by capturing the precise location of those molecules at subcellular resolution," the firm said.

NanoString announced CosMx, a spatial biology platform with higher resolution than GeoMx, in December 2020. NanoString recently said it has already received pre-orders for 20 CosMx units ahead of full commercial launch in the fourth quarter.

In January, 10x gave the first look at its Xenium platform for in situ analysis, the spatial platform it has been working on since acquiring ReadCoor. Last month, the firm announced it was pushing to release Xenium by the end of the year, instead of in 2023.

In the GeoMx-related lawsuit, NanoString has denied the allegations of infringement and countersued in December, asking the court to declare non-infringement of the seven patents as well as declare them invalid. The firm had also asked the court to dismiss 10x's claims of contributory infringement, inducement, and willful infringement.

In November, the court granted NanoString's motion to dismiss claims of pre-suit indirect infringement and willful infringement but gave 10x the opportunity to further amend its complaint. Discovery is in progress and a trial is scheduled for June 2023, Farrell said.

10x is seeking monetary damages, attorneys' fees, and a permanent injunction against NanoString in the GeoMx suit.