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US Supreme Court issues a decision on patenting genes

I've been following the Myriad Genetics BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer markers) gene patent case for a while, mainly because Myriad Genetics is located in my "backyard" (Salt Lake City).  Yesterday, the US Supreme Court ruling invalidates patent claims to naturally occuring DNA sequences.

This decision invokes a number of different thoughts in my mind, including:

  • Now there is no longer a monoply on this genetic test in the US, and the test should become more widely available and at a reduced cost (Myriad charges $4,000 !!!) - a relief to women nation-wide
  • How does this ruling impact patentability of genetic tests (and for that matter, other scientific discoveries with a genetic basis), on which personalized medicine is heavily dependent?
  • Will this ruling affect future efforts on developing new genetic tests because the profit potential of such tests will not likely be as large?

How do you feel about this ruling?

 

Read more about this ruling in the Burrill Report:

http://www.burrillreport.com/article-scotus_rules_genes_can%E2%80%99t_be_patented.html

Bio-Link Program: 
Salt Lake Community College

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