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Myriad sues competitors over genetic testing

The Supreme Court invalidated two of the company’s gene patents last month

Just weeks after the end of its Supreme Court battle over gene patentability, Myriad Genetics has launched another patent fight against two competitors that are offering genetic testing for breast cancer risk.

Until the Supreme Court’s June 13 ruling, Myriad held patents on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are associated with a heightened risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The high court invalidated those patents—ruling that naturally occurring DNA is not patentable—but it upheld the patentability of synthetic DNA.

Many companies took advantage of the Supreme Court’s ruling to introduce their own, often-cheaper tests for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. But in lawsuits filed this week, Myriad argues that two of those companies, Ambry Genetics and Gene by Gene, violated its still-valid patents with their tests.

Ambry CEO Charles Dunlop denied any infringement, saying in a statement: “We have had an overwhelming response from our clients seeking an alternative laboratory to perform BRCA testing, and Ambry is fully committed to support our clients and patients moving forward.”

Myriad is seeking preliminary injunctions to stop the two companies from offering the tests, as well as damages for infringement.

Read more at the New York Times.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the gene patentability fight, see:

Supreme Court rules on DNA patentability

IP: Supreme Court hears oral argument on whether isolated DNA is a product of nature

Supreme Court hears gene patentability arguments

IP: Supreme Court will decide if human genes are patentable

Supreme Court will rule on gene patentability


Alanna Byrne

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