In a move that was not unexpected, the U.S. Supreme Court has vacated and remanded Assn. For Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics (often referred to as “the gene patent case”) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for further consideration in light of Mayo v. Prometheus, 566 U.S. ___ (2012). Click here for more information about Mayo.
As the Court hears arguments in Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, the topic of heath care reform and cost is on the minds of many. Perhaps not as apparent is the impact that the decision in Myriad could have on the cost of health care, given its relevance to health-care-cost-reducing technologies such as early stage diagnostics and personalized medicine.
The patents at issue in Myriad cover isolated DNA molecules and related methods useful for assessing risk of developing breast cancer.
Almost two years ago, in what was considered an unusual decision, a U.S. District Court in New York issued an opinion in Myriad that essentially found so-called “gene patents” to be invalid. Click here for more information about the 2010 District Court decision. The decision was appealed to the Federal Circuit, which rejected much of the District Court’s reasoning in an opinion that issued last summer. The Supreme Court granted certiorari, only to vacate this decision, and the case has been sent back to the Federal Circuit.
The community will be anxiously awaiting the Federal Circuit opinion to see with what breadth Mayo is applied to the claims at issue in Myriad.