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10x Genomics Sues Parse Bio for Patent Infringement, Seeks Injunction

NEW YORK – 10x Genomics has sued Parse Biosciences, a competitor in the single-cell transcriptomics market, alleging patent infringement.

In a complaint filed Thursday in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, 10x alleged that Parse's Evercode Whole-Transcriptome assay and other planned products infringe six patents owned by or exclusively licensed to 10x.

Specifically, 10x said that Parse's Evercode WT product infringes US Patent Nos. 10,155,981; 10,697,013; and 10,240,197, all titled "Methods for analyzing nucleic acids from single cells."

Parse's planned single-cell ATAC-seq (assay for transposase-accessible chromatin by sequencing) will infringe US Patent Nos. 10,150,995; 10,619,207; and 10,738,357, all titled "Transposition of native chromatin for personal epigenomics," according to the complaint.

The company asked the court for a declaratory judgement that Parse infringes its patents and an injunction against the alleged infringement, as well as a trial by jury. 10x also seeks damages and royalties.

"Parse is a single-cell genomics company that has made clear that it intends nothing less than to copy 10x's complete lineup of single-cell products wholesale," 10x alleged, referencing an April GenomeWeb story that revealed Parse's plans for early-access programs for targeted single-cell RNA sequencing and a single-cell CRISPR assay, as well development of a single-cell ATAC-seq assay.

"10x has invested more than $1 billion in R&D to invent and bring to market breakthrough technologies that have catalyzed a revolution in genomics," a 10x spokesperson said in an email. "We will protect our investments and vigorously defend our products and broad intellectual property portfolio against infringement." 

"Through Evercode, Parse offers a fundamentally differentiated solution that makes single-cell sequencing more scalable without the need for expensive microfluidic instruments," Parse CEO and Cofounder Alex Rosenberg said in a statement. "This lawsuit is without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously. We will not let competition prevent us from making single-cell genomics more accessible to the broader community."

Pleasanton, California-based 10x offers the popular Chromium platform for droplet-based single-cell transcriptomics and multimodal analysis and has been one of the first companies to develop spatial transcriptomics technology.

Parse, a University of Washington spinout, offers plate-based single-cell assays. It announced $7 million in Series A funding in January 2021.

The lawsuit makes Parse the latest of 10x's competitors to be hit with a patent lawsuit. In 2020, 10x won a declaration making it the exclusive licensee for a key patent that had also been licensed to single-cell firm 1Cellbio. And last year, 10x settled a tangle of lawsuits over single-cell IP involving Bio-Rad Laboratories and single-cell instrument maker Celsee, resulting in a global cross-licensing and royalty deal.

In the last year, 10x has launched a new wave of lawsuits over spatial genomics technology, alleging patent infringement by NanoString Technologies and Vizgen.