Navigenics, a Foster City, Calif. company that checks consumers’ genomes for indications of disease, is being sued by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for allegedly infringing on a patent that the university licensed exclusively to E8 Pharmaceuticals.
If MIT wins the suit, Navigenics will have to pay damages to both the school and E8. It will also have to pay to officially acquire the patent or pay royalties. This patent has been a sticking point before, prompting MIT to sue public company Affymetrix, maker of chips for genome operations, last year. Three months ago, Navigenics acquired Affymetrix Clinical Services Laboratory, including the patent. No resolution was reached in the Affymetrix suit, which will be handled separately from the new case against Navigenics.
Navigenics counts Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Sequoia Capital among its investors. Navigenics is a direct competitor of 23andMe, another service that reads genomes for consumers.
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