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November 26, 2013

Invitae Responds to Myriad Genetics Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO, November 26, 2013 – Invitae Corporation, a genetic diagnostics company, today announced that it plans to defend its right to provide naturally occurring genetic information and services to physicians for their cancer patients through its genetic testing services.  Invitae has been named a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Myriad Genetics, Inc. regarding Invitae’s BRCA and MUTYH genetic tests. Invitae disagrees with the allegations of the lawsuit and plans to vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit, which it believes has no merit. 

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that naturally occurring DNA and the information it encodes cannot be patented (Assn’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 2107 [2013]) and thus ushered in a new era of personalized medicine.  This followed on a prior Supreme Court ruling establishing that naturally occurring biological correlations were not patentable subject matter (Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., 132 S. Ct. 1289 [2011]).  The breast cancer community will benefit from these decisions with the introduction of multiple new diagnostic tests to analyze BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, increasing the availability and options for patients and physicians. Invitae and its collaborators recently presented results at scientific conferences demonstrating the validity of next generation DNA sequencing technology to accurately identify pathogenic variants in a variety of cancer genes including BRCA1 and 2.

Invitae’s mission is to reinvent genetic testing by making it more affordable and accessible than ever before. The company’s goal is to bring multi-use genetic testing into routine medical practice. Invitae offers full gene sequencing for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 with deletion and duplication analysis to physicians with the ability to upgrade to a larger hereditary cancer syndromes panel of 27 genes – all for just $1,500. 

 “The issue of DNA patents goes far beyond BRCA testing,” said Randy Scott, co-founder of Invitae.  “Our company was founded around the core belief that every individual has the right to self-knowledge (meaning they have a right to know their own DNA sequence information), and we believe that the Supreme Court rulings validate our view that no company can claim ownership over naturally occurring genetic information.”

Dr. Scott continued, “Today, clinically-observed genetic variants are often held in proprietary databases, restricting their access by the medical community.  By broadening access and sharing genetic information, we can collectively harness the power of the genome to improve our understanding of disease and improve healthcare for everyone. Providing broad access to genetic testing will allow the medical community to collectively diagnose disease better, faster and cheaper; offer patients more effective healthcare and reduce costs to the healthcare system.”

Commitment to Sharing Genetic Information: Invitae Supports the Free the Data! Initiative

The Free the Data! initiative is a grassroots patient and physician movement to build an open access database to enable the interpretation and diagnosis of clinical variants, including BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. The goal of Free the Data! is to fill the public information gap caused by the lack of available genetic information for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes with plans to expand to provide other types of genetic information in open, searchable databases, including the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s database, ClinVar.

Free the Data! invites individuals to share their genetic variation safely, securely and with appropriate privacy settings, in a public database. The medical and scientific community can then access this collective data to accelerate our understanding of genetic disease, find new therapies and eventually prevent disease.  Please visit or contact 202.966.5557 x201 for more information about Free the Data!

Invitae is a founding member of the Free The Data! Coalition.  Other coalition members include Genetic Alliance, UCSF, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), a group of patient advocates, Partners Healthcare & ICCG, GeneDX, amongst others. 

About Invitae Corporation

Specializing in genetic diagnostics for hereditary disorders, Invitae’s mission is to make multi-use genetic testing more accessible and affordable than ever before.

The company is pursuing a strategy over the next several years to aggregate all the world's medical genetic tests (>3,000 known Mendelian conditions) into a single assay at a lower cost than most single gene tests today.

This capability is increasingly enabled by the rapid advancements in DNA sequencing technology. Invitae hopes to lead the way from an era of genetic scarcity to genetic abundance to significantly improve healthcare worldwide. 

For further information, please visit


Katherine Stueland


Paul Laland


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