Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM), a life sciences company committed to enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products and services, today issued a statement on the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on the Company’s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (“‘540 Patent”).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today announced that it denied Sequenom’s petition for en banc re-hearing of the Court’s earlier decision upholding the ruling of the United States District Court for the Northern District ofCalifornia that the claims of Sequenom’s ‘540 patent are not patent eligible under the patent eligibility criteria established by the Supreme Court’s Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories decision. This result was not unexpected given the earlier ruling by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals that said it was “bound by the sweeping language of the test set out in Mayo.”  However, denial of the petition was considered as a necessary first step to having the case potentially heard on appeal by the Supreme Court of the United States.

In concurring opinions, three Circuit Judges expressed concern that the current interpretation of the Mayo decision may discourage development and disclosure of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods in the life sciences, which are often driven by discovery of new natural laws and phenomena.  However, the Judges stated that despite the claims reciting “innovative and practical uses” for circulating, cell-free fetal DNA, they are bound by the language of Mayo, and any further guidance must come from the Supreme Court, not the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  In a dissenting opinion, Circuit Judge Newman expressed her view that “the new diagnostic method here is novel and unforeseen, and is of profound public benefit” and stated: “I agree with my colleagues that this case is wrongly decided.  However, I do not share their view that this incorrect decision is required by Supreme Court precedent.”

As previously stated, as a practical matter, Sequenom believes that the ruling has little business impact as it has been operating under the District Court’s invalidity ruling since October, 2013 and due to the pooling arrangement of NIPT intellectual property entered into with Illumina, Inc. in December, 2014.  In addition, valid and enforceable patents with claims equivalent to those of the ‘540 Patent are issued in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia.

Sequenom understands that patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. section 101 is an emerging and complex set of issues and is considering a further appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. (Original Source)

Shares of Sequenom closed today at $1.62, down $0.17 or -9.50%. SQNM has a 1-year high of $4.80 and a 1-year low of $1.53. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.78 and its 200-day moving average is $2.45.

On the ratings front, Sequenom has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 24, Wedbush analyst Zarak Khurshid maintained a Hold rating on SQNM, with a price target of $1.50, which represents a potential downside of 7.4% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 30, Jefferies Co.’s Brandon Couillard downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $1.50.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Zarak Khurshid and Brandon Couillard have a total average return of -7.2% and 13.0% respectively. Khurshid has a success rate of 53.8% and is ranked #3360 out of 3644 analysts, while Couillard has a success rate of 74.3% and is ranked #207.

Overall, one research analyst has rated the stock with a Sell rating, 4 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and . When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $1.50 which is -7.4% under where the stock opened today.

Sequenom Inc is a molecular diagnostic testing and genetics analysis company which provides molecular diagnostic testing services.