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10x Genomics Sues NanoString, Vizgen Over Spatial Gene Expression Analysis Technologies

NEW YORK – 10x Genomics has in recent months filed two additional lawsuits alleging that competing spatial genomics companies NanoString Technologies and Vizgen have infringed its patents.

In the firm's quarterly report, filed last week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, 10x Genomics disclosed that it has sued Vizgen in a US federal court and NanoString Technologies in a regional court in Germany.

According to the document, on May 3, 2022, 10x filed a complaint in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging that Vizgen's Merscope platform infringes five patents 10x licensed from George Church's lab at the Wyss Institute and Harvard Medical School. US Patent Nos. 11,021,737; 11,293,051; 11,293,052; and 11,293,054 are titled "Compositions and Methods for Analyte Detection," while US Patent No. 11,299,767 is titled "Method for generating a three-dimensional nucleic acid containing matrix."

"While we cannot and will not comment on ongoing litigation and we still are in the process of investigating the claims, we believe the claims lack merit and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves," Vizgen CEO Terry Lo said in an email statement.

The lawsuit in Germany, filed in March in the Munich Regional Court, alleges that NanoString's CosMx infringes European Patent No. 2794928B1, "Compositions and Methods for Analyte Detection."

"We do not believe that our activities infringe any patent rights held by the plaintiffs and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves in the ongoing litigations," NanoString VP of Communications Doug Farrell said in an email.

The lawsuits indicate that 10x will continue to aggressively assert its IP in the burgeoning spatial genomics technology market. In late February, 10x opened this salvo with a lawsuit alleging that NanoString's CosMx spatial molecular imager infringes the '737 patent and another patent 10x licensed from the Church lab. NanoString countersued last month, asking the court to declare noninfringement of the patents and invalidate them. In a separate suit, filed in May 2021, 10x alleged that NanoString's GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler infringes on seven patents licensed to 10x by Prognosys Biosciences.

10x is no stranger to patent litigation. The Pleasanton, California-based single-cell and spatial genomics technology maker spent the first nine years of its existence exchanging patent infringement allegations with Bio-Rad Laboratories until the sides settled and cross-licensed their respective technologies in 2021. 10x has also sued single-cell isolation startups, including 1CellBio and Celsee (which was ultimately bought by Bio-Rad). 10x did not respond to request for comment before deadline.

10x acquired rights to the Church lab patents when it bought ReadCoor for $350 million in 2020.

In its latest suit, 10x asked the Delaware district court for a permanent injunction against Vizgen, in addition to royalties, monetary damages, attorneys' fees, and a trial by jury.

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