SALT LAKE CITY--Myriad Genetics here has received a patent for 47 different BRCA1 gene mutations that increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The company also received a notice of allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office for four additional BRCA1 patent applications, including use of the gene or its protein as a breast cancer diagnostic.
Myriad said it will now use its proprietary functional genomic tools, including its ProNet database, to try to uncover the gene's biological role in the disease process.
In related news, the same day it won the patent--December 2--Myriad filed a lawsuit against OncorMed for patent infringement on the BRCA1 gene in the US District Court of Utah. OncorMed, based in Gaithersburg, Md., also has a patent on the BRCA1 gene and said it intends to fight the lawsuit. "Every major gene can be expected to be associated with multiple patents and BRCA1 is no exception," the company stated.