Guardant Health $83M Appeal After Patent Verdict

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Guardant Health $83M appeal

Silicon Valley cancer diagnostics trailblazer, Guardant Health, is gearing up for an intense legal tussle as it appeals an adverse $83.4 million verdict handed down a day earlier in a high-stakes patent battle against a Seattle-based rival.

Unanimous Blow in Wilmington, Delaware

The seismic verdict, delivered in Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday, concluded a gripping five-day patent showdown between Guardant Health and TwinStrand Biosciences. The courtroom drama, brewing in the Delaware federal arena since 2021, left Guardant Health grappling with a unanimous decision against it.

Willful Infringement Opens Pandora’s Box

The jury sided decisively with TwinStrand’s legal arsenal, asserting that Guardant’s flagship product replicated patented techniques in a “willful” manner. This not only dealt a financial blow but also swung open the door for TwinStrand to petition U.S. District Judge Gregory B. Williams to potentially triple the damages, should they successfully argue the willful conduct’s egregious nature.

Guardant Fires Back with Vigorous Appeal

Reacting to the courtroom setback, Guardant Health’s co-founder, Helmy Eltoukhy, expressed staunch disagreement, vowing to mount a vigorous appeal. In a statement released on Wednesday, Eltoukhy asserted, “The company expects to file additional motions with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”

Guardant Health $83M Appeal : “Duplex Sequencing” at the Core

The heart of the legal dispute revolves around the “duplex sequencing” method, crafted by University of Washington professor Jesse Salk, grandson of polio vaccine luminary Jonas Salk. TwinStrand, under Salk’s leadership until 2022, secured patents boasting a “10,000-fold increase in accuracy over standard [next-generation sequencing] approaches.”

Guardant Health $83M Appeal : TwinStrand’s Technological Edge

In a statement issued on Wednesday, TwinStrand emphasized the groundbreaking nature of their patented technology, enabling the detection of ultra-low frequency DNA mutations. The lawsuit targeted Guardant’s product, Guardant 360, renowned for employing advanced DNA sequencing to tailor individualized cancer therapy treatments.

Guardant’s Legal Turmoil Timeline

This legal showdown is not Guardant Health’s first brush with legal turbulence. In the past year, Illumina, the San Diego-based gene sequencing giant, accused Guardant’s leadership of discussing a new venture while still employed at Illumina. The allegations included the theft of thousands of confidential documents and emails to fabricate patent applications. This dispute concluded earlier this year, with Illumina dropping the lawsuit after a magistrate judge ruled against the bulk of the trade secret theft claims.

Guardant Health $83M Appeal : Legal Representation

Guardant Health is represented in this legal clash by Brian A. Biggs, Jeff Castellano, and Erin E. Larson of DLA Piper LLP. On the opposing front, the University of Washington and TwinStrand Biosciences are backed by Adam W. Poff and Samantha G. Wilson of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP, along with Byron L. Pickard, R. Wilson “Trey” Powers III, Chandrika Vira, William H. Milliken, Anna G. Phillips, and Tyler J. Dutton of Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC.