Genetics Company Myriad May Shift From Patents To Proprietary Data03/03/2011 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 4 CommentsShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Myriad Genetics, a United States-based biotechnology company with exclusive patent rights over a key breast cancer diagnostic test in the US, may shift its patent strategy from its inventions to guarding its data in the face of drawn out litigation and upcoming competition, an industry journal has reported. The Genomics Law Report has published an analysis by a group of US academics and attorneys on how the company is likely to react to future competition.Recent research on breast cancer diagnostic testing has been carried out by European and US research institutes, and they are saying they could offer considerably lower prices and better results than Myriad’s current testing. This upcoming competition is pushing the biotech company to shift its patent policy, according to the analysis. Myriad’s patents have been challenged in Europe and in the United States where there is an ongoing patent litigation.Robert Cook-Deegan, director of the Center for Genome Ethics at Duke University (US), one of the study’s contributors, told Intellectual Property Watch that Myriad used to contribute its research data to public databases, but would be shifting its interest from patent protection of its inventions to protecting its data. According to Cook-Deegan, Myriad appears to have stopped providing data after 2004, although in the past they contributed more data to public databases than any other single source, he said.Treating the database they built as a proprietary asset could be a problem for clinicians and patients, in particular after patent expiration. Myriad is tracking gene mutations “until they can interpret them,” he said. “That’s a great and a valuable asset … and they have good arguments they deserve fair reward for doing such work,” he said, but the negative side of it is that “business is coming to them mainly because of their patents, so this is a proprietary database leveraged on patent exclusivity.”Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedCatherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Genetics Company Myriad May Shift From Patents To Proprietary Data" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.