High Court finds cancer gene unpatentable

The High Court has unanimously found against Myriad Genetics, holding that an isolated nucleic acid, coding for the BRCA1 protein found in breast cancer, with specified variations, is not a patentable manner of manufacture.

According to Melbourne Litigation, the decision not protect this gene with a patent is bound to hurt Myriad’s Australian licensee, Genetic Technologies Ltd (ASX: GTG), which sells tests for it.

The HC held that while the invention claimed might be, in a formal sense, a product of human action, it was the existence of the information stored in the relevant sequences that was an essential element of the unpatentable invention as claimed.

Copy of the Decision Summary HERE.

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