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OpGen Subsidiary Ares Genetics Maintains Key Patent After Opposition in Europe

NEW YORK – OpGen announced on Monday that its Ares Genetics subsidiary has successfully maintained a patent granted by the European Patent Office covering the identification and use of genomic variants for the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

The opposition division of the European Patent Office ruled to maintain the patent — numbered EP 3 332 028 B1 and titled, "Genetic resistance prediction against antimicrobial drugs in microorganism using structural changes in the genome," as granted with a minor modification, the firm said in a statement, though it did not specify the amendment to the claim. Opposition to the patent was filed by "a Swedish opponent" in September 2021.

The patent was granted in Europe in January 2021 and in China in January 2023.

"The patent covers the use of alignment-free methods, which are not only more computing resource efficient, but are also generally required to discover and resolve more complex structural variants, which is particularly important in this context," said Arne Materna, CEO and managing director of Ares Genetics.

The patent as maintained broadly covers the prediction of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens based on any genetic determinants involving two or more nucleotides, OpGen said. It is "an important component of the comprehensive intellectual property portfolio protecting Ares Genetics' unique database ARESdb and machine-learning-based approaches for predicting phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility and resistance directly from genomic data," the firm said.