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Xenomics Files Fraud Suit against Sequenom

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Xenomics today said that it has filed a lawsuit in New York State alleging Sequenom committed fraud in representing itself to Xenomics in a licensing deal inked last year.

In October 2008, Xenomics granted Sequenom exclusive global rights to use certain transrenal fetal nucleic acids in maternal urine for non-invasive prenatal diagnostics and analysis.

According to a statement issued by Xenomics, Sequenom "fraudulently misrepresented to Xenomics the status of its testing for Down Syndrome and based upon such conduct, Xenomics was induced to enter into a license agreement with Sequenom thereby giving up various valuable patent rights."

Xenomics said that it is seeking damages of up to $300 million for willful fraud, as well as termination of the licensing deal between the firms.

The suit is the latest problem for Sequenom, which is currently under investigation by the Nasdaq, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the US Attorney for the Southern District of California for the mishandling of test data earlier this year and the subsequent firing of certain senior executives, including President and CEO Harry Stylli.

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