Cancer group loses landmark case against gene patent

Patient advocacy group Cancer Voices Australia and Brisbane breast cancer survivor Yvonne D’Arcy had challenged the right of two biotechnology companies to hold a patent over BRCA1 gene mutations, which confer an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

In a judgment handed down in Sydney today, Justice John Nicholas found in favour of Myriad Genetics Inc, the owner of the patent, and Melbourne-based Genetic Technologies Ltd, which holds the exclusive licence to conduct the tests in Australia.

Justice Nicholas ordered Cancer Voices Australia and