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Harvard Must Face Antitrust Claims In Gene-Analysis Case

 |  July 12, 2023

In a landmark ruling, a federal judge in Delaware on Monday rejected a motion to dismiss antitrust counterclaims between 10x Genomics (TXG. O) and Harvard University. The action was spurred by two gene-analysis patent lawsuits.

This means that the antitrust counterclaims of Vizgen and additional allegations from NanoString can continue to be heard in court. According to NanoString CEO Brad Gray, the decision was a “significant development” offering “another avenue for success in the case.”

The legal dispute began when 10x Genomics and Harvard University jointly filed patent infringement lawsuits against NanoString and Vizgen last year. The two companies, 10x’s only competitors in the single-cell spatial transcriptomics (SST) market, said that the pair prematurely ended agreements with The National Institutes of Health (NIH) for open and non-exclusive licensing for innovations it funded.

Vizgen declared utter satisfaction with the ruling, also stating an unflinching commitment to defend its technology. Meanwhile, NanoString and Vizgen fear that if the patent cases succeed, 10x and Harvard will have a monopoly on the SST market, resulting in greatly elevated prices and fees.

It is important to point out that the judge did grant 10x and Harvard’s motion to dismiss Vizgen and NanoString’s claims involving a contract with the NIH as the companies were not entitled to bring these claims.

It remains to be seen whether Vizgen and NanoString’s allegations will be successful, but regardless, the companies’ mercurial efforts will no doubt be seen as a win for innovation.