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Foundation Medicine Sues Guardant Health for Patent Infringement

This article has been updated with a statement from Guardant Health.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Foundation Medicine has filed a lawsuit against Guardant Health, alleging that the company willfully infringes one of its recently awarded patents.

In the complaint, filed yesterday with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, Foundation Medicine claims that the Guardant360 cell-free tumor DNA liquid biopsy test infringes its US Patent No. 9,340,830.

The patent, issued yesterday and assigned to Foundation Medicine, is entitled "Optimization of Multigene Analysis of Tumor Samples" and covers methods for analyzing a cancer patient's tissue or blood sample to detect multiple classes of genomic alterations, the firm said.

According to Foundation Medicine, the Guardant360 test, which analyzes specific DNA targets for somatic mutations using next-generation sequencing, infringes one or more claims of the '830 patent, and Foundation claims that Guardant knew about the '830 patent application.

Foundation asked the court for judgment of infringement of the '830 patent and to award treble damages, attorneys' fees and other expenses. It also demanded a jury trial.

"We plan to evaluate strategies to maximize the value of this patent and our other intellectual property," CEO Michael Pellini said in a statement yesterday to announce the award of the patent. "That said, in leveraging this asset, we do not intend to block the use of methods covered by the patent in patient testing that may be offered by others."  

Guardant Health said in a statement that it believes the lawsuit is without merit and that it will "vigorously defend" its position.