Wall Street Realizes Myriad Genetics, Inc. Monopoly on Breast Cancer Risk Tests is Done

Published: Jun 14, 2013

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You can’t patent a gene that occurs in nature, but you can patent one that you create. That’s the gist of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in a closely watched case that may have sweeping consequences for the biotech industry.

Myriad Genetics (MYGN) was defending patents it held on two gene mutations linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. “It found an important and useful gene, but groundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant discovery does not by itself satisfy” the standard for patent eligibility, the court found. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion, with eight justices agreeing and Justice Antonin Scalia concurring.

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