Myriad can't stop Ambry Genetics from selling its breast cancer test--for now

In a courtroom development that does not bode well for Myriad Genetics' ($MYGN) efforts to protect the BRCA breast cancer diagnostic technology it pioneered, a U.S. District judge in Utah denied the company's motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Ambry Genetics from selling its own version of the BRCA test.

Ambry trumpeted the news in a press release Tuesday. Reuters reported the court ruled out the injunction, saying Myriad failed to show it is likely to prevail in the ongoing patent lawsuit over breast cancer diagnostics. Myriad closed the day down more than 8% following the announcement of the decision.

"We stood by our convictions after Myriad sued Ambry and are exhilarated by today's ruling," Ambry CEO Charles Dunlop said in a statement.

Ambry launched its BRCA offering in June 2013 on the day the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that exempted human genes from patent protection. The decision exposed Myriad's pioneering BRACAnalysis test to competition and a handful of firms have entered the market. Myriad, which discovered the cancer-related gene mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2, has sued several of them, including Aliso Viejo, CA-based Ambry and Madison, NJ-based Quest Diagnostics ($DGX).

"We believe the BRCA patents at issue in this case are valid, enforceable and infringed, and are confident we will prevail based on the full evidence," Myriad wrote in a statement it filed with the SEC, responding to the decision.  

Its ongoing lawsuit against Ambry has spurred a countersuit--which another competitor, Gene by Gene, joined--accusing Myriad of trying to monopolize the cancer testing market. Last month, Myriad and Gene by Gene negotiated a truce.

- read Ambry's press release
- read Myriad's statement
- here's Reuters' take