Morrison & Foerster won a total victory for Shoreline Biosciences Inc. against patent infringement claims brought by Fate Therapeutics Inc. and the Whitehead Institute in the Southern District of California.The district court granted Shoreline's motion for summary judgement of non-infringement on each of Fate's and Whitehead's infringement claims.
Shoreline is a San Diego-based biotechnology company founded in May 2020 to develop induced pluripotent stem cell ("iPSC")-derived natural killer and macrophage cells to fight cancer.IPSCs were first developed in 2006 and 2007 by Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka and have since become widely available for scientific research and as a starting material for the development of cellular therapies.Dr. Yamanaka won the Nobel Prize in 2012 for his discovery of iPSCs. Shoreline has purchased several iPSC lines to develop its cellular therapies and to conduct research in support of its drug programs.
Fate and Whitehead filed their infringement claims against Shoreline in May 2022, alleging that Shoreline's use of iPSC lines manufactured by third-parties infringed seven patents Fate had licensed from Whitehead.The district court found during claim construction that the Whitehead patents do not cover iPSCs or the method of direct reprogramming of somatic cells to iPSCs invented by Dr. Yamanaka, but rather cover "priming" a somatic cell for reprogramming using a different method – somatic cell nuclear transfer ("SCNT").The district court found at summary judgment that because none of the iPSC lines purchased and used by Shoreline were made by "priming" a somatic cell for subsequent reprogramming using SCNT, there was no infringement of the Whitehead patents.
The Morrison & Foerster team is gratified that Shoreline has been cleared of these patent infringement allegations and can continue its efforts to develop cellular therapies to help patients fight cancer.