Isolated DNA in tubes. Patrick Alexander / flickr For years, Myriad Genetics has had a monopoly on testing two key genes related to breast and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2. But the Utah company’s dominance was supposed to end last month. Doctors’ groups, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation, took their legal challenge against all patents on genomic DNA to the Supreme Court and won a unanimous decision. “Myriad did not invent the BRCA genes and should not control them,” said ACLU attorney Sandra Park, who worked on the case. “Because of this ruling, patients will have greater access to genetic testing and scientists can engage in research on these genes without fear of being sued.” One of the plaintiffs in the Myriad lawsuit, a breast cancer survivor named Lisbeth Ceriani, said that she was grateful other women wouldn’t have to go through her ordeal—waiting more than 18 months for a critical test because she couldn’t afford Myriad’s price of more than $4,000. “I’m so glad that the Supreme Court agrees that women deserve full access to vital information from their own bodies,” she said in the ACLU statement. 2     

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