• The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that isolated genes are natural products and thus cannot be patented. The ruling struck down patents for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes held by Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City, UT, and several diagnostic companies quickly announced plans to incorporate analysis of those genes into tests assessing the risks of inherited breast and ovarian cancers. The court emphasized that the decision “does not involve method claims, patents on new applications of knowledge about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, or the patentability of DNA in which the order of the naturally occurring nucleotides has been altered.”

  • Tobacco control measures established in 41 countries between 2007 and 2010 will prevent about 7.4 million premature deaths by 2050 (B World Health Organ 2013;91:509–18).

  • Onyx Pharmaceuticals of South San Francisco, CA, turned down an unsolicited $10 billion buyout proposal from Amgen, of Thousand Oaks, CA, but will talk with other potential acquirers.

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will not approve Aveo Pharmaceuticals' tivozanib (Tivopath) for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and recommended that the Cambridge, MA, company conduct an additional clinical study in RCC patients.

  • Johnson & Johnson announced plans to acquire Aragon Pharmaceuticals of San Diego, CA, for an up-front cash payment of $650 million, plus contingent payments of up to $350 million. Aragon's second-generation androgen receptor signaling inhibitor ARN-509 is in phase II clinical development for treating castration-resistant prostate cancer.

  • Worldwide sales of oncology drugs will climb from $68 billion in 2012 to $114.4 billion in 2018, when they will make up 12.2% of the total drug market, predicts a report from market intelligence firm Evaluate, of London, UK. The report also suggests that Roche will continue to be the largest provider of oncology drugs, with $30.3 billion in sales in 2018, and that its angiogenesis inhibitor Avastin (bevacizumab) will become the top-selling oncology drug, with sales of $7.7 billion that year.

For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at http://CDnews.aacrjournals.org.