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Natera wins $19 million US verdict from ArcherDX in cancer-detection patent case

A paramedic takes a blood sample for DNA testing from a resident looking for a relative missing during the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Escuintla

By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) - Genetic testing company Natera Inc convinced a Delaware federal jury on Monday to award it $19.3 million in damages from Invitae Corp's ArcherDX for infringing patents related to cancer detection.

The jury agreed with Natera that biotech company ArcherDX Inc's blood-based DNA tests for detecting and monitoring cancer infringed three of its patents. The award was just over half of the $38 million Natera had requested, according to court documents.

A spokesperson for San Francisco-based Invitae said the company will continue to fight Natera's bid for an injunction blocking the alleged infringement and has "strong confidence in our product portfolio and our freedom to operate."

Austin, Texas-based Natera said in a statement that it was pleased with the verdict.

Natera first sued ArcherDX in 2020. It said in an amended 2021 complaint that several ArcherDX cancer tests violated its patent rights in technology for non-invasive cancer tests that use "cell-free DNA" from a patient's blood.

ArcherDX told U.S. District Judge Gregory Williams during the six-day trial that the patents were invalid and that there was insufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find that its tests infringed.

The jury said Natera was entitled to $10 million in royalties and $9.3 million in lost profits.

Invitae has separately sued Natera in Delaware federal court, claiming Natera's Signatera cancer tests infringe three of its patents.

Invitae bought Boulder, Colorado-based ArcherDX for $1.4 billion in 2020.

The case is Natera Inc v. ArcherDX Inc, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, No. 1:20-cv-00125.

(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington)