San Diego’s Sequenom Steps Back Into the Spotlight, Sort Of

3/17/10Follow @bvbigelow

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analyze fetal nucleic acids from maternal urine. TrovaGene, which granted Sequenom an exclusive license to its technology, alleges that Sequenom breached their licensing agreement by providing false and misleading information about the successful development of its own Trisomy 21 test.

“What we’re trying to prove is that this was a deliberate fraud on their part to block Xenomics, to prevent us from using our own technology,” Jaroslawicz said. But Jaroslawicz told me yesterday that “Sequenom does not want to reveal what happened…If there was nothing bad there, why not put it out?”

By demanding Sequenom’s documents and access to its executives, Jaroslawicz is trying to intensify the pressure on Sequenom for his own reasons. TrovaGene’s lawsuit, which is now in a federal court in New York City, seeks at least $300 million for the damages it suffered by licensing technology to Sequenom.

“We licensed it to them for a small amount of money because there was supposed to be a substantial royalties flow,” Jaroslawicz said.

A Sequenom spokesman could not be reached after regular office hours last night for a response to Jaroslawicz’ comments. But lawyers for Sequenom contend in recent letters submitted to the court that Jaroslawicz has been making misleading statements of his own. They maintain that Jaroslawicz is not entitled to far-reaching demands for information from Sequenom under the rules of arbitration—and they recently renewed a request to move the dispute from federal court into a formal arbitration hearing.

Sequenom’s lawyers also asked the federal judge overseeing the case to halt the court proceedings—including the magistrate judge’s order to turn over documents—until a decision on moving the case to arbitration can be made. U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman granted that request yesterday. Sequenom says written arguments on the move to arbitration must be submitted to the court by March 26.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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