This could open the door for other companies to enter the market. Up until this decision, Myriad was the only company worldwide that could perform the DNA genetic analysis test and the cost was around $3000.00. Additional pressure was given by the insurance industry for patients to have the test as well. By one company not having a monopoly, this can open the door for additional break throughs and further the treatment of both breast and ovarian cancer by having the information to build upon.
Myriad's BRACAnalysis Tests Scrutinized by Insurance Carriers – Many Do Not Qualify and Myriad Marketing Questioned
There are of course 2 issues at hand here, losing a big source of revenue for Myriad, and secondly determining what really is “intellectual property” when it comes to medicine and research. Of all the genetic sequencing that takes place, the BRCA test is probably the oldest and best known test by all. The company has also recently introduced another test for prostate cancer to predict recurrences.
This is not the only lawsuit of this type, we also have MIT taking Navigenics to court. Navigenics also interprets sequencing and works with doctors to help encourage the education, research and development of personalized medicine based on sequencing our genes.
What’s in a patent anymore is a real good question as there’s a lot of this going on with pharma as well with many court cases and individuals duking it out. BD
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — A US District Court today sided with the American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs in an ongoing anti-gene-patenting lawsuit by declaring Myriad Genetics' BRCA gene patents invalid.
The suit, filed last May by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation on behalf of several scientific organizations and women's health groups, charged that the BRCA gene patents held by the University of Utah Research Foundation and exclusively licensed to Myriad "stifle research that could lead to cures and limit women's options regarding their medical care."
The suit, while focused on Myriad's patents, essentially challenged the constitutionality of patenting all genetic sequences on First Amendment grounds.
The ACLU said in a statement today that the ruling "marks the first time a court has found patents on genes unlawful and calls into question the validity of patents now held on approximately 2,000 human genes."
The court also granted a request by the US Patent and Trademark Office that it be released as a defendant in the lawsuit because it had already ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.