The nation’s highest court in a brief order agreed to review a case over whether Myriad Genetics Inc may patent two genes linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
In a 2-1 ruling on August 16, a panel of the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., upheld the biotechnology company’s right to patent “isolated” genes that account for most inherited forms of the two cancers.
That ruling also denied Myriad’s effort to patent methods of “comparing” or “analyzing” DNA sequences.
The appeal against Myriad and the University of Utah Research Foundation was being pursued by a variety of medical associations and doctors, led by the Association for Molecular Pathology. Their case is being handled by lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Myriad shares fell as much as 9 percent after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal and ended the trading session down $1.13, or 3.8 percent, at $28.72 on the Nasdaq.