Nov 15 (Reuters) - Precision oncology company Guardant Health (GH.O) was hit with an $83.4 million verdict by a jury in Delaware federal court, which found that its cancer-testing kits violate the patent rights of biotech company TwinStrand Biosciences and the University of Washington.
The jury said on Tuesday that Guardant's genetic-sequencing technology infringes two patents and that the infringement was willful, which could lead to the award being multiplied.
Guardant co-founder and co-CEO Helmy Eltoukhy said in a statement on Wednesday that the company strongly disagrees with the decision and will "vigorously appeal." Eltoukhy also said that the decision "ignores the strengths and merits of our R&D and intellectual property, which we painstakingly developed for over a decade."
TwinStrand CEO Ron Andrews said in a statement on Wednesday that the verdict allows it to "continue to invest in research and development without being punished by unrestrained infringement."
TwinStrand licenses the University of Washington patents to use in its Duplex Sequencing platform. Their lawsuit against Guardant, filed in 2021, said that the patented technology allows for cancer detection and monitoring by analyzing blood plasma without needing tumor biopsies.
The complaint called the patented technology "an elusive feat that previous sequencing methods could not achieve."
TwinStrand and the university said that Guardant's Digital Sequencing Technology used in several of its cancer-testing kits infringe the patents. Guardant denied the allegations.
The case is TwinStrand Biosciences v. Guardant Health Inc, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, No. 1:21-cv-01126.