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Illumina, Ravgen Settle Patent Lawsuit Over NIPTs

NEW YORK – Illumina and Ravgen reached a confidential settlement in their lawsuit over allegations Illumina had violated two of Ravgen's patents covering noninvasive prenatal testing.

The firms jointly filed Friday to dismiss the lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Delaware. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Ravgen sued Illumina in December 2020 in a flurry of lawsuits alleging the infringement of patents covering methods for identifying abnormalities in fetal cell-free DNA contained within maternal blood samples.

Ravgen attorney John Desmarais declined to discuss the terms of the agreement but said they were satisfactory to both parties.

Ravgen's patent numbers 7,332,277 and 7,727,720 relate to detection methods that use an agent to inhibit maternal blood cell lysis and identify ratios of alleles at sites that indicate the presence of abnormalities. Earlier this year, the small Maryland-based firm fended off a challenge by Illumina before the US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board, where Illumina had claimed Ravgen's patented methods were too obvious and anticipated through prior research results and commonly understood techniques.

The federal lawsuit had been stayed pending the outcome of those inter partes reviews.

Since Ravgen began filing its lawsuits in 2020, it has secured a $273 million verdict against Laboratory Corporation of America as well as settlements with Quest Diagnostics and PerkinElmer. A lawyer for the firm previously said the company had been seeking, through lawsuits and negotiations with other firms, royalties of $100 per test, similar to what was awarded in the Labcorp lawsuit.

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