Healthcare Business News

Court denies Myriad motion to stop Ambry from selling cancer tests

By Rachel Landen
Posted: March 11, 2014 - 5:45 pm ET

Myriad Genetics has lost a round in its fight to stop Ambry Genetics Corp. from selling testing services that Myriad says infringe on patents for its own gene-based cancer tests. A U.S. District Court has denied a Myriad motion to stop Ambry from selling the services while the matter awaits trial, Myriad disclosed Tuesday.

Myriad is best known for developing a set of tests used to identify the risk of inherited breast cancer by detecting mutations in what are known as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. It's the same test that prompted Angelina Jolie to undergo a double mastectomy after estimates from her BRCA test showed the actress had an 87% risk of breast cancer.

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But Myriad is not the only diagnostics company with a BRCA test. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last June that Myriad could not patent naturally occurring genetic material, it opened the door for other companies, including Ambry, to develop their own tests for discovering BRCA mutations.

Myriad has argued that Ambry's tests and services infringe on its patents, and in July asked the U.S. District Court of Utah to issue a preliminary injunction that would prevent Ambry from selling its tests. On Tuesday, Myriad announced in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the court had struck down its request for injunctive relief. However, the Salt Lake City-based company asserted its claim that its patents “are valid, enforceable and infringed” and that it is confident that it will succeed with its full case. A trial date has not yet been set.

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden

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