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Court Allows Vizgen to Expand Antitrust Allegations Against 10x in Countersuit, Delays Trial

NEW YORK – A US federal judge has allowed Vizgen to expand the antitrust allegations in its countersuit against 10x Genomics, which is part of a patent infringement dispute between the firms.

In an April 26 order, Judge Matthew Kennelly of the US District Court for the District of Delaware granted Vizgen's request to update its lawsuit based on new evidence uncovered during discovery.

"Included in the new allegations are anticompetitive activities including unlawful bundling of 10x Genomics' existing Chromium and Visium franchise with its Xenium product, and predatory pricing," Vizgen said in a statement. "These new allegations bolster Vizgen's existing antitrust counterclaims against both 10x and Harvard University, accusing them of conspiring to monopolize the market and obstructing Vizgen's ability to compete globally."

No further details about Vizgen's new allegations are currently available, as the firm's updated complaint remains sealed. The firm called the order a "significant victory." The judge also awarded Vizgen additional deposition time after the firm accused several Harvard witnesses of "egregious deposition conduct."

"We are very pleased with the court's decision," said Vizgen CEO Terry Lo. "These recent developments represent progress in protecting researchers' access to our groundbreaking Merscope and MERFISH technologies, and our fight against monopolistic anticompetitive practices."

A 10x spokesperson said in an email that "the new allegations made by Vizgen that challenge how we price and discount our products have no basis in fact or law and are simply another attempt to distract from their infringement of our patented technology."

10x sued Vizgen in 2022, alleging infringement of patents it obtained when in 2020 it acquired ReadCoor, a spinout of George Church's lab at the Wyss Institute and Harvard Medical School. Vizgen, also a Harvard spinout, has countersued, alleging infringement of its own IP, among other claims.

Part of Vizgen's defense against its purported patent infringement relates to allegations that Harvard and Church have not fulfilled a pledge to the National Institutes of Health to pursue open and nonexclusive licensing for inventions that were ultimately licensed to ReadCoor.

10x stands by its pricing and discounting policies. "We consistently hear from customers who love our premium technologies but can't afford to pay a premium price," the spokesperson said. "As a direct response to this feedback, we've been partnering with customers and reducing price to make our tools more accessible to the scientific community."

As part of the order, the court awarded Vizgen three additional hours of deposition time, much less than the 15 hours the firm had asked for in an April 22 letter outlining allegations of deposition misconduct by Harvard witnesses.

For example, Vizgen said that Harvard Chief Technology Development Officer Isaac Kohlberg "engaged in the deposition tactic of robotically reciting 'I don't remember' to basic foundational questions," such as, "Was George Church one of the founders of ReadCoor?" and "Have you ever had a video call with George Church ever?"

Harvard's director of technology transactions, Jordan Grant, allegedly took a different approach, "providing long, filibustering responses without answering the question asked," Vizgen said.

Vizgen also alleged that Harvard did not properly prepare other witnesses to testify.

To accommodate Vizgen's new allegations, the court pushed the trial date to early February 2025.