The Institut Curie has decided to file an opposition against a European patent granted to Myriad Genetics Inc. by the European Patent Office on Jan. 10. Patent EP699754, commonly known as the BRCA1-gene patent, covers "a method for diagnosing a predisposition for breast and ovarian cancer in a human subject, which comprises determining whether there is a germline alteration in the sequence of the BRCA1 gene or a BRCA1 gene regulatory sequence."

The Paris institute, part of the national research network and one of France's leading cancer centers, disputes the validity of the patent on lack of novelty, lack of inventive step and insufficient description. What makes this initiative exceptional is its backing by the French government, notably the ministries of research and health.