Supreme Court Will Take Up Case on U. of Utah’s Controversial Gene Patents

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in August again upheld the legality of gene patents developed at the University of Utah and used by Myriad Genetics Inc. for a test to predict the risks associated with certain types of cancer. The Public Patent Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union have challenged the legality of the patents, arguing that genes are a part of nature that, if patented, would restrict research and patients’ access to medical care.

Shares of Myriad fell as much as 9 percent after the top court agreed to hear the case, but pared their losses to close Friday down 3.8 percent at $28.72 on the Nasdaq.

The Federal Circuit had ruled in Myriad’s favor in July 2011, but that ruling was set aside by the Supreme Court, which asked it to revisit the case in light of later developments.

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