REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Verinata Health, Inc., a privately-held company dedicated to maternal and fetal health, today announced that it has commenced an action against Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. (Ariosa) and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) in federal court in the Northern District of California. The action asserts that Ariosa and LabCorp infringe U. S. Patent No. 8,296,076 (the '076 patent) entitled "Noninvasive Diagnosis of Fetal Aneuploidy by Sequencing" by offering and performing the HarmonyTM prenatal test, among other activities. The '076 patent, which claims priority to a U.S. application filed on September 20, 2008, issued to Stanford University on October 23, 2012. Verinata is bringing the action against Ariosa and LabCorp as an exclusive licensee of the patent in the field of genetic analysis by nucleic acid sequencing. Stanford is joined in the suit as a necessary party because it is the registered owner of the '076 patent. In the complaint, Verinata seeks an injunction to halt Ariosa's and LabCorp's infringement of the '076 patent, in addition to damages and other relief.
"We believe that we have the leading intellectual property in the field of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics using sequencing of cell-free DNA, and that the in-licensed patents from Stanford University are an important part of that intellectual property estate," stated Dr. Jeffrey Bird, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Verinata. "Including the patents in-licensed from Stanford, Verinata now owns or holds an exclusive license to 11 U. S. patents and 16 foreign patents in the field of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics. We believe that the Stanford '076 patent granted on the 23rd is a fundamental patent, and that Ariosa's prenatal test falls under its claims as we have set forth in the complaint. Verinata remains fully committed to its mission of providing high quality non-invasive prenatal testing to all women desiring such testing. As a part of this mission, Verinata will continue to actively market its industry-leading verifi® prenatal test for the determination of fetal chromosomal aneuploidies."
About the verifi® prenatal test
The verifi® prenatal test is a blood test that analyzes genetic material (or DNA) naturally found in a pregnant woman's blood to detect Down syndrome (trisomy 21 or T21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18 or T18), Patau syndrome (trisomy 13 or T13) and Turner syndrome (monosomy X) in the fetus. When directed by a physician, the verifi test can be offered to pregnant women of at least 10 weeks gestation at high risk of carrying a fetus with a genetic abnormality. A physician may classify a woman as "high-risk" if she is over 35 years of age, has a prior personal or family history of chromosome abnormalities, or has had a positive initial screening test indicating she is at increased risk for carrying a fetus with a genetic abnormality.
Verinata Health, Inc.
Verinata is driven by a sole, extraordinary purpose maternal and fetal health. Our initial focus is to develop and offer non-invasive tests for early identification of fetal chromosomal abnormalities using our proprietary technologies. We aim to reduce the anxiety associated with today's multi-step process, the unacceptable false-positive rates, the non-specific and sometimes confusing results of current prenatal screening methods, as well as the risk of current invasive procedures. In support of national guidelines recommending first trimester aneuploidy risk assessment, we believe women who desire such an assessment should be offered a single blood draw test with a definitive result. The verifi® prenatal test is available throughout the United States, with the exception of New York, through a physician. For more information about Verinata, please go to www.verinata.com.
SOURCE Verinata Health, Inc.