Genetic diagnostics lab GeneDx filed eleven petitions to invalidate patent claims held by Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ:MYGN), according to a recent report. This is the first move against Myriad's patents to take advantage of a new pathway opened up by the America Invents Act of 2011. GeneDx believes that many of Myriad's patents, including those related to mutations to the cancer-related genes BRCA1, BRCA2 and MUTYH, represent scientific discoveries that were already known before the patents were filed.
Myriad's BRACAnalysis test helped the company gather data on gene mutations which the company declined to share with the scientific community at large since this would erode the company's competitive advantage. However, GeneDx believes that not sharing data isn't legitimate. Sherri Bale, the co-founder and managing director of GeneDx, said, "If we cannot share our data, talk about what we find, and come to conclusions on what things mean, the whole genomics area is going to fall flat on its face. We have to share the data."
In my original analysis I said that Myriad's move to market Sividon Diagnostics' breast cancer test EndoPredict in Europe was a positive development. I also noted that the company's plan to transform the entire hereditary cancer market towards the myRisk platform through fiscal 2015 should drive its stock higher. Since GeneDx's filed petitions aren't directly related to the company's myRisk Hereditary Cancer test, I continue to remain bullish on Myriad Genetics. I believe that any weakness in the stock as a result of the GeneDx news should be utilized as a buying opportunity.
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