[Ip-health] New York Times: Myriad Genetics Ending Patent Dispute on Breast Cancer Risk Testing

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Feb 5 07:14:25 PST 2015


BUSINESS DAY <http://www.nytimes.com/pages/business/index.html>Myriad
Genetics Ending Patent Dispute on Breast Cancer Risk Testing

27, 2015


Myriad Genetics
essentially given up trying to stop other companies from offering tests for
increased risk of breast cancer
ending a dispute that was the subject of a landmark Supreme Court ruling
that human genes cannot be patented.

The company has settled or is in the process of settling
patent-infringement lawsuits it filed against other companies that now
offer such testing, a Myriad spokesman said on Tuesday.

Myriad’s lucrative monopoly on testing for mutations in two genes linked to
an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer
in 2013, when the Supreme Court ruled that human genes were not eligible
for patents because they were products of nature.

Numerous laboratories began offering tests, some for much less than the
roughly $4,000 Myriad charged for a complete analysis of the two genes,
known as BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Myriad sued many of those companies, saying they were infringing other
patent claims that had not been invalidated by the Supreme Court.

But last March, a federal district judge in Utah ruled against Myriad’s
a preliminary injunction against one competitor, Ambry Genetics. Last
month, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the lower
court’s decision and ruled that those remaining claims were also ineligible
for patents.

After that ruling, “we decided it was in the best interest of the company
to settle these matters,” the Myriad spokesman, Ronald Rogers, said.

Settlements have been reached with LabCorp
Invitae and Pathway Genomics. Mr. Rogers said Myriad was in talks with
Ambry, Quest Diagnostics
GeneDx and Counsyl.

In the settlements announced so far, the companies have agreed to dismiss
the claims and counterclaims against one another, and Myriad has promised
not to sue the companies on any remaining patents in the litigation.

Myriad is shifting from the BRCA gene test to a more comprehensive test of
25 genes linked to cancer
It is also developing new types of tests to reduce its reliance on the BRCA

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