Pathway Genomics today announced it will vigorously defend itself against a patent infringement suit filed on June 13, 2014, by Myriad Genetics, Inc. and other plaintiffs. Ironically, the lawsuit was filed on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Myriad’s monopoly on genetic information related to a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Undeterred by the Supreme Court’s action, Myriad has continued to engage in conduct intending to suppress women’s options for breast cancer screening, including this latest action.
“We are a company trying to do good in the world. Forty-eight hours after we raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Susan G. Komen to fight breast cancer and announced our donation of $10 million of free genetic testing for women in need, Myriad Genetics slaps us with this unwarranted lawsuit,” said Jim Plante, Pathway Genomics’ founder and CEO.
Pathway Genomics recently began offering BRCATrue™, its genetic test to help individuals understand their genetic risk for developing breast, ovarian and other types of cancers. It also launched its BRCA One for One™ program under which Pathway Genomics will provide millions of dollars of free testing to uninsured women. Additionally, as another step in its fight against breast cancer, Pathway Genomics teamed up with Relativity Media last week to co-host a VIP fundraiser in Los Angeles benefiting Susan G. Komen in support of breast cancer testing and awareness.
“We are a company trying to do good in the world. Forty-eight hours after we raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Susan G. Komen to fight breast cancer and announced our donation of $10 million of free genetic testing for women in need, Myriad Genetics slaps us with this unwarranted lawsuit,” said Jim Plante, Pathway Genomics’ founder and CEO. “Given their pattern of filing lawsuits against other companies broadening access to this life-saving technology in clear disregard of the Supreme Court’s decision last year, this lawsuit is not unexpected. We do not infringe on any valid patent claims and are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves.”
BRCATrue is a next-generation sequencing and deletion/duplication analysis that can detect mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, the genes linked to breast, ovarian and other types of cancer. BRCATrue has a sensitivity of >99.99% and the broadest coverage across BRCA1/2 in the industry.
“We believe that no corporation should have a monopoly over an individual’s genes. Every person should have access to vital information about their own body,” said Plante.
To enhance the accessibility of this important genetic test, Pathway Genomics has developed the BRCA One for One program – for every qualified BRCATrue test ordered, one test is donated to a person in need through patient advocacy organizations, up to $10 million of free testing.
“We are on a mission to make genetic testing more accessible and affordable, especially testing related to cancer screening, one of the leading causes of death in the world. We believe that no corporation should have a monopoly over an individual’s genes. Every person should have access to vital information about their own body,” said Plante.
BRCATrue offers physicians an easy to interpret and clinically actionable report, advanced variant classification, as well as a rapid 2-week turnaround time. BRCATrue is the first step of many that will occur this year to demonstrate Pathway Genomics’ leadership in clinical genomics and commitment to having the most comprehensive cancer-testing menu.
Commitment to Sharing Genetic Information: Pathway Genomics Supports the Free the Data Movement
Today, Myriad and other labs hold their clinically-observed genetic variants in proprietary databases that are not freely accessible to the medical community. Pathway Genomics agrees with the Free the Data movement – these mutations should not be trade secrets. By broadening access and sharing genetic information, we can collectively harness the power of the genome to improve our understanding of disease and improve healthcare for everyone. Providing broad access to genetic testing will allow the medical community to collectively diagnose disease better, faster and cheaper; offer patients more effective healthcare and reduce costs to the healthcare system. Pathway Genomics supports the Free the Data movement and will make its BRCA1 and BRCA2 data available on ClinVar.