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Supreme Court of US agrees to hear Myriad's isolated DNA patent case

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Dec 17, 2012 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc., a molecular diagnostic company, has announced that the Supreme Court of the US granted certiorari agreeing to hear the case of The Association for Molecular Pathology, et al., v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., et al.

The Supreme Court will review the earlier decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which declared that Myriad's composition of matter claims covering isolated DNA of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes are patent-eligible under Section 101 of the US Patent Act.

The BRACAnalysis test detects the presence of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations that can help determine a patient's risk of breast and ovarian cancer and inform treatment options. Women who test positive using Myriad's BRACAnalysis have an 82 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer and a 44 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer in their lifetimes.

The test is available for all women with a family history of cancer and is cost effective for both patients and the healthcare system. Approximately one million women have already benefited from taking the BRACAnalysis test.

"Two previous decisions by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the patentability of our groundbreaking diagnostic test that has helped close to one million people learn about their hereditary cancer risk," said Peter Meldrum, President and CEO of Myriad Genetics.

"Myriad devoted more than 17 years and $500 million to develop its BRACAnalysis test. The discovery and development of pioneering diagnostics and therapeutics require a huge investment and our US patent system is the engine that drives this innovation. This case has great importance for the hundreds of millions of patients whose lives are saved and enhanced by the life science industry's products."

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