“If I had my druthers, I would not want to go into a new market in a heavy-handed fashion, trying to enforce patents"
There is the race to the patent office theme: Ever since Myriad and its partner, the University of Utah, beat other researchers, including Professor King of the University of Washington, in identifying the BRCA1 gene in 1994, Myriad has been the target of those opposed to the patenting of genes.
In 2006, Professor King and colleagues published a paper showing that Myriad’s test, known as the Comprehensive BRACAnalysis, actually failed to detect a significant number of genetic alterations in the two genes.
Sequencing of the entire human genome is available:
Some companies like Knome already offer sequencing of a person’s full genome. Prices are still high — Illumina, for instance, charges $9,500 — but are dropping rapidly. Others, like GenomeQuest, are developing software tools to analyze the genetic information.
Lawyers say it is not clear if sequencing a person’s whole genome and then providing information on mutations in the BRCA genes would violate Myriad’s patents on the isolated genes.