Myriad Take Two: Can Genomic Databases Remain Secret?

Science, Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 586-587, 2017

Posted: 27 May 2017

See all articles by Christi J. Guerrini

Christi J. Guerrini

Baylor College of Medicine; University of Houston Law Center Intellectual Property and Information Law Institute

Amy L. McGuire

Baylor College of Medicine

Mary Anderlik Majumder

Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine

Date Written: May 12, 2017

Abstract

An ongoing legal challenge to the business model of Myriad Genetics highlights how recent policy developments have contributed to a collision between individual interests in access to personal health data and commercial interests in trade secrecy. Following a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court invalidating its patents on BRCA1/2 genetic variants (1), which increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancer, Myriad now faces efforts to dismantle the proprietary database of variants and their clinical interpretation that it began developing when it was the exclusive provider of BRCA1/2 tests. Although the competing claims that anchor this dispute are hard to reconcile, we see room for legal compromise and opportunity for policy innovations to incentivize companies to invest in test development while ensuring that their findings can be used by others.

Keywords: Patents, Trade Secrets, Diagnostics, Exclusivities

Suggested Citation

Guerrini, Christi J. and McGuire, Amy L. and Majumder, Mary Anderlik, Myriad Take Two: Can Genomic Databases Remain Secret? (May 12, 2017). Science, Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 586-587, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974431

Christi J. Guerrini (Contact Author)

Baylor College of Medicine ( email )

One Baylor Plaza
Apt 510
Houston, TX TX - Texas 77057
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.bcm.edu/people/view/christi-guerrini-j-d/b1e79844-9aa9-11e4-907f-005056b104be

University of Houston Law Center Intellectual Property and Information Law Institute ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

Amy L. McGuire

Baylor College of Medicine ( email )

One Baylor Plaza
Apt 510
Houston, TX TX - Texas 77030
United States

Mary Anderlik Majumder

Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine ( email )

One Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX TX - Texas 77030
United States

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