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Guardant Health Sues Tempus for Patent Infringement

NEW YORK – Guardant Health filed a lawsuit this week against rival cancer genomics firm Tempus AI, alleging that Tempus has infringed a handful of its patents relating to liquid biopsy sequencing methods.

Founded initially in 2015, Tempus priced its planned initial public offering on Thursday, listing 11,100,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $37.00 per share. Its shares will begin trading on the Nasdaq today.

In its complaint filed in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, Guardant claimed that Tempus' "unauthorized" use of its patents numbered 11,149,306; 9,902,992; 10,501,810; 10,793,916; and 11,643,693 has caused it historical and ongoing harm.

The company accused Tempus of creating "copycat" liquid biopsy offerings that rely on Guardant’s patented technology including "cutting-edge innovations" developed "at great cost through an extensive research and development program."

Guardant specifically cited Tempus' Tempus xF, Tempus xF+, and Tempus xM Monitor assays as examples, as well as the firm's recently developed minimal residual disease offering, Tempus xM MRD.

The suit also alleged that Tempus has been "monitoring" Guardant's intellectual property portfolio, which it argued is evidenced by Tempus' naming the company — alongside several other liquid biopsy firms — in a May filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that discussed potential investment risks.

Citing Tempus' scientific publications and various press releases published beginning in 2018, Guardant has claimed that the firm's suite of liquid biopsy assays involve technical steps that are "identical or equivalent" to the steps described in its patents, which describe various elements of molecular barcoding and subsequent sequencing of cell-free DNA.

According to Guardant, the alleged infringement has caused it monetary damages, for which it seeks recovery "in an amount to be proven at trial" but, at the least, a "reasonable royalty with interest and costs."

Guardant is seeking an injunction against Tempus barring it from further infringement, as well as "adequate" compensation, future royalties, and any other relief that the court deems appropriate.