A federal court in Utah has denied the request for a preliminary injunc- tion filed by Myriad Genetics against a rival company that offered tests less expensive than Myriad’s to screen BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, those linked to breast cancer risk. Univ. of Utah Research Found. v. Ambry Genetics Corp., No. 13-0640 (u.s. Dist. Ct., D. utah, Cent. Div., order entered March 10, 2014). The lawsuit is one of a number of patent-infringement cases that have been centralized for pre-trial proceedings before a multidistrict litigation (MDL) court. In re BRCA1- and BRCA2-Based Hereditary Cancer Test Patent Litig., MDL No. 2510.
While the court acknowledged that Myriad had shown it was “likely to suffer irreparable harm” through the erosion of its test-pricing structure, loss of market share and loss of exclusive patent terms, defendant Ambry Genetics “has raised a substantial question” as to whether the plaintiff’s “Primer and Method Claims are directed toward patent eligible products of nature and abstract ideas under 35 u.s.C. § 101.” According to the court, Myriad is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its infringement claims. A company spokesperson emphasized that the court did not rule on the underlying merits of the case, but simply denied the preliminary injunc- tion it had requested. See The New York Times, March 10, 2014.