On June 13, Myriad Genetics, creators of the BRACAnalysis genetic test, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Pathway Genomics in response to the San Diego company’s June 3 launch of its BRCATrue test.
In a statement released today, Pathway founder and CEO Jim Plante called the lawsuit “unwarranted.”
“Given their pattern of filing lawsuits against other companies broadening access to this life-saving technology in clear disregard of the Supreme Court’s decision last year, this lawsuit is not unexpected,” Plante said in a press release. “We do not infringe on any valid patent claims and are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves.”
BRCATrue is a next-generation sequencing test that looks into the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes to help reveal one’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Pathway Genomics also started the BRCA One for One program, which donates one test for every one purchased to help those in poor economic or insurance status.
Myriad Genetics has a history of suing companies that launch similar BRCA tests, such as last December when it sued the Laboratory Corporation of America for its BRCAssure test. Last June, the Supreme Court ruled in a 9-0 sweep in the case of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics that naturally occurring DNA sequences can’t be patented, thus denying Myriad sole ownership of BRCA testing.
In addition to trying to reserve that right, Myriad has also been trying to restrict other labs from researching the genes any further as well. The Free the Data movement, a collection of nonprofit and for-profit organizations, aims toward making that data available online for free. It hopes to get reports from Myriad clients to add to that data.