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Patent Fight Over Down Syndrome Test

MANHATTAN (CN) - A biotech company will not relinquish the exclusive patent rights it bought to develop noninvasive testing for Down syndrome, though the patents will be wasted since it never developed the test, the seller claims in New York County Court. Xenomics claims it was wrongly induced to sell its patents to Sequenom.

Florida-based Xenomics claims Sequenom announced an $85 million public offering and released misleading press releases about the success of its SEQureDx test.

After reporting promising date for its test to detect fetal Down syndrome in the first trimester of pregnancy, Sequenom announced a delay in the test's launch, according to the complaint.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney's office are investigating Sequenom, which also faces several class actions alleging misrepresentation, Xenomics says.

Xenomics claims it sold "valuable exclusive patents and licensing rights" to Sequenom for a small upfront payment, royalties of 6 percent of net sales and other revenue.

Sequenom projected a market of up to $1 billion, but since it has no testing and no hope future funding, Xenomics says it will never receive the promised royalties.

When Xenomics requested the return of the technology license and patents, Sequenom's attorney "responded with an arrogant letter," claiming that the company had done nothing wrong.

Xenomics seeks punitive damages for fraud and rescission of the licensing agreement so it "can license its patents to a legitimate company."

It is represented by David Jaroslawicz of Jaroslawicz & Jaros.


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