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BRCA-1 aqnd BRCA-2: The Breast Cancer Genes

Myriad has received patents for two genes, BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, used to perform a cancer screening tests. According to the firm's SEC Form 10-K, "BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 appear to be responsible for approximately 84% of the early onset hereditary breast cancer and approximately 90% of hereditary ovarian cancer." Myriad has licensed the rights to perform these tests to about a dozen laboratories in exchange for very high royalties on each test performed. (The federal government brokered a deal to pay lower royalties when the genes are used by NCI and NIH-sponsored research institutions and investigators.) Myriad is currently trying to enforce patents on the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes in Europe and Canada, which is has led to a lot of controversy in their public health communities because this would raise the price of testing for cancer considerably.

In January 2005, the European Patent Office rejected the essential points of BRCA1 gene patents.

P-16 (MST-1) Cancer Protein


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