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A New 'Generation'

BRCA diagnostic testing isn't what it used to be, say Genomics Law Report's John Conley and Dan Vorhaus, and guest contributor Robert Cook-Deegan. Researchers like the University of Washington's Marie-Claire King and the University of Maryland's Steven Salzberg have published papers in the past few months detailing what could be called the "next generation" of BRCA testing. Now, all eyes are on Myriad Genetics, the company that, until recently, counted BRCA testing firmly in its bailiwick. "Is a commercial confrontation brewing?" the authors ask. "Not all of the recent developments in BRCA testing represent a near-term, or even a long-term, commercial challenge to Myriad’s business. But developments which appear first in the pages of scientific journals … are certainly capable of showing up in commercial offerings before long." For now, Myriad remains the exclusive provider of targeted BRCA diagnostic testing in the US, but it could start to find that reliance on BRCA testing worrisome for business if these other tests start to make it to the market, Conley, Vorhaus, and Cook-Deegan say.