Updated on 24 June 2013
Labs like GeneDx, Gene by Gene, Quest diagnostics, Ambry Genetics, Pathway Genomics, and the University of Washington, almost instantly said that they would launch BRCA testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. All these are CLIA-approved labs that have been involved in gene sequencing for a long time and have built a track record in the field. There are however, other tests that look for mutations in 16 other genes less commonly involved in breast cancer but those have not been able to include BRCA1 and BRCA2 because of Myriad's patents. These tests are priced at $2,600.
DNATraits, part of Houston-based Gene By Gene, Ltd has stated that it would offer BRCA gene testing in the United States for $995, which is less than a third of the current price. The company has so far processed more than five million discrete DNA tests from more than 700,000 individuals and organizations globally.
Gene by Gene, on the other hand has said that its BRCA testing service would cost around $1,000. These same tests would have cost these companies $4,000 when the patents rights were available with Myriad.
"We're pleased to make this important testing more widely available and accessible in the United States. Our highly automated CLIA-registered lab and efficient processes enable us to make genetic and genomic testing more affordable and accessible to more individuals, in the US and worldwide. And that's our company's mission, in a nutshell," said Dr Bennett Greenspan, president, Gene By Gene.
He reiterated that the Supreme Court has opened the doors to greater technological innovation and access to genetic tools that promise to save and improve the quality of human lives in the United States. "It's critical that as an industry we are able to continue to engage in healthy competition to drive down the costs of these tests because as more individuals have access to and undergo them, the more information we'll have about many serious diseases that eventually may lead to cures," he said in a press statement.
GeneDx is another company that plans to offer a test for breast cancer risk. "It levels the playing field; we can all go out and compete. This is going to make a lot more genetic tests available, especially for rare diseases," said Ms Sherri Bale, MD, GeneDx.