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Caris Life Sciences Sues Foundation Medicine, Alleging Patent Infringement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Caris Life Sciences filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Foundation Medicine yesterday in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts Boston Division.

The Irving, Texas-based company claims that three of Foundation Medicine's cancer genomic profiling tests — FoundationOne for solid tumors, FoundationOne Heme for hematological tumors and sarcomas, and the liquid biopsy test FoundationAct — infringe five of its US patents.

The patents are US Patent No. 8,880,350, No. 9,372,193, and No. 9,383,365, all three titled "System and method for determining individualized medical intervention for a disease state"; and No. 9,092,392 and No. 9,292,660, both titled "Molecular profiling of tumors".

According to Caris, the patents cover its approach of performing molecular tumor profiling to identify treatment options based on groups of molecular targets that are not traditionally or conventionally associated with various types of cancer.

Caris claims that Foundation Medicine's tests willfully infringe its patents. As a result, "Caris faces a substantial risk or irreparable harm," according to the complaint. The company seeks a jury trial, an injunction, damages, attorneys' fees, and other relief.

"Before Caris' tumor profiling invention, cancer treatment was based on a defined list of therapy options conventionally associated with a tumor's tissue of origin," said Russ Farr, senior vice president and general counsel for Caris, in a statement. "We have invested heavily in the development of our innovative technology for precision medicine because we strongly believe, and have demonstrated, that the molecular findings identified with tumor profiling can be utilized to provide cancer patients viable therapeutic options. We intend to vigorously defend our intellectual property and investment and take action against those who violate it."

Sue Hager, Foundation Medicine's senior vice president of corporate communications and government affairs and advocacy, said that the company is currently evaluating the complaint, adding that "we intend to vigorously defend the allegations made in the complaint." 

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