Two biotech companies, Vizgen and NanoString, have set their sights on Harvard and 10x Genomics, advancing antitrust claims that the two giants violated open licensing agreements and attempted to monopolize the market. The biotech rivals are accusing the two of breaching a research agreement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that required “open and non-exclusive licensing.”
The claims stem from Harvard and 10x’s patent infringement lawsuits against Vizgen and NanoString, which alleged the companies had launched similar gene analysis platforms to 10x Genomics’ Xenium In Situ platform. NanoString and Vizgen launched counterclaims, accusing their rivals of breaking the NIH agreement and anticompetitive conduct.
NanoString general counsel Brad Gray stated: “The court’s ruling provides NanoString with another avenue for success in the case.”
U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Kennelly ruled in favor of NanoString and Vizgen, allowing them to sue for breach of contract between Harvard and the NIH.
Vizgen said in a statement: “We’re pleased that the Court rejected 10x’s and Harvard’s attempts to keep these issues surrounding the NIH grant documents and their anticompetitive conduct and effect on the market out of the case.”
10x’s general counsel Eric Whitaker commented: “The ruling was a significant win. The antitrust claims will face similar scrutiny, and 10x will move to dismiss them at the appropriate time.”
Xenium In Situ was developed by 10x Genomics using technology from ReadCoor, which was founded by Harvard Medical School genetics professor George M. Church. The unprecedented agreement saw Harvard license-related patents exclusively to ReadCoor.
As the legal battle between the biotech rivals continues to heat up, only time will tell who will come out on top.
Source: The Crimson