NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – In a blow to Sequenom, a federal court has invalidated a patent held by the company covering the detection of cell-free DNA in the bloodstream of pregnant women.

On Wednesday, the US District Court for the Northern District of California granted Ariosa Diagnostics summary judgment and invalidated US Patent No. 6,258,540, saying the patent covers a phenomenon of nature, which is unpatentable.

Sequenom holds an exclusive license to the '540 patent, which underlies its MaterniT21 Plus non-invasive prenatal diagnostic test, from Isis Innovations.

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