BIO Statement on Initial Decision in Myriad Genetics Lawsuit

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 30, 2010) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement regarding the decision issued yesterday in the lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Myriad Genetics in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York:  

“As explained in the ruling yesterday, the District Court’s determination is only a preliminary step in the legal process that does not affect how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) evaluates patent applications relating to DNA-based inventions. 

“BIO is pleased that the Court dismissed the far-reaching claims regarding the constitutionality of patenting gene-based inventions. Disputed allegations that patents supposedly stifle research or impede patient access were explicitly excluded from consideration. And the invalidation of the diagnostic method claims was done under a Federal Circuit opinion (In Re Bilski) which will soon be clarified further by the Supreme Court.

“From the mass production of life-saving medicines by cell cultures to the screening of our blood supply for life-threatening viruses, patented DNA molecules have been put to countless uses that have benefited society. Preparations of isolated and purified DNA molecules, which alone can be put to use in these ways, are patentable because they are fundamentally different from anything that occurs in nature.”

BIO’s amicus brief in the Myriad Genetics case is available at and the amicus brief for the Bilski case is available at  Additional background materials on gene patenting are available at


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About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.