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U.S Court Of Appeals Upholds Myriad's Gene Patents

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) reported today that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declared that the Company's composition of matter claims covering isolated DNA of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes are patent-eligible material under Section 101 of the United States Patent Act. This decision reinstates the prior decision by the Court on July 29, 2011.

"We are very pleased with the favorable decision the Court rendered today which again confirmed that isolated DNA is patentable," said Peter Meldrum, President and CEO of Myriad Genetics. "Importantly, the Court agreed with Myriad that isolated DNA is a new chemical matter with important utilities which can only exist as the product of human ingenuity."

It is important to correct some common misconceptions on the societal impact of "gene" patents; namely that such patents impede research, result in high-cost testing and takeaway a patient's option for second-opinion testing. Myriad believes that statements made to these points in the public press are incorrect. To set the record straight,

  • "Gene" patents have not hindered research on BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 and Myriad has never denied, opposed or impeded any research studies on these, or any other , genes. Further, more than 18,000 scientists have researched the BRCA genes, publishing more than 9,000 research papers.
  • The cost of the BRAC Analysis test is not prohibitive and patient access is extensive. Myriad has provided close to one million patients with BRAC Analysis test results. Approximately 95% of appropriate patients in the United States have access to BRAC Analysis either through private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or Myriad's Financial Assistance Program, which provides coverage at no charge to low-income, uninsured patients. Over the past 3 years alone, more than 5,000 patients have benefitted from this assistance program.
  • Lastly, second opinion testing is available for patients with positive test results in a number of U.S. laboratories, including a large reference laboratory licensed by Myriad in 2001.

Brian M. Poissant, Gregory A. Castanias, Laura A. Coruzzi, Eileen Falvey, Jennifer L. Swize and Sasha Mayergoyz and other members of the law firm of Jones Day represented Myriad in this matter.

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