Myriad Genetics won a significant victory last month when an appeals court upheld the company's gene patents. But now, The New York Times' Andrew Pollack says, the real battle starts for Myriad. Some experts say the company's test for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is "technologically outmoded, incomplete and too costly," Pollack reports. The University of Washington's Mary-Claire King, who led the team that discovered the BRCA mutations, tells Pollack that "science has moved beyond what these folks do," and that patients and their doctors need the most up-to-date information to make treatment decisions. Newer DNA sequencing techniques are faster and cheaper than the technology Myriad uses, and soon, Pollack adds, it may be cheaper to sequence an entire genome than to use Myriad's test. For its part, Myriad says it is prepared for the challenge. The company's major patents begin to expire in 2014, though Myriad says its patent protection should last until about 2018, and the company's executives say that will give them time to adapt to new technologies and diversify beyond the BRCA test.
Battle? Won. War? Still Being Fought
Aug 26, 2011