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Invitae Sues Natera Alleging Infringement of Patent on DNA Sequencing Assembly Technique

NEW YORK – Invitae on Monday filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Delaware alleging that Natera is infringing its patented techniques for assembling DNA sequencing reads.

Specifically, the lawsuit focuses on Invitae's patent 10,604,799, or '799, which the company said is not "routine and conventional" and improves upon prior art by grouping DNA sequencing reads into contigs, aligning to a reference genome, and then realigning the original reads to the contigs.

Where prior methods had limitations with regard to interpreting certain mutations, such as indels near end of reads, the technique described in the '799 method "generates precise positional information regarding the locations of mutations in the sample DNA," Invitae said in the complaint. "Far from being routine or conventional, this approach reflected a novel advance that has become widely adopted in the industry to improve the performance of DNA sequencing technology."

Invitae asserts that when Natera in 2017 began selling its liquid biopsy Signatera test for determining minimal residual disease and cancer recurrence, the company employed DNA sequencing assembly techniques that infringed certain claims in its '799 patent.

Invitae wants the court to find that the '799 patent is valid and that Natera has infringed it. The company is also seeking damages and other costs and an order enjoining Natera from infringing its patent.