NIH patent decision pushes HGSI stock down

Human Genome Sciences Inc. shares fell $2.75 to $16.25 on Friday, reflecting Wall Street's concerns about the impact of a government decision to give up on patenting human cDNA sequences.

HGSI was formed to exploit precisely the kind of partial cDNA sequences involved in the decision, which it creates using its automated gene sequencing technology. In the prospectus for its initial public offering last December, the Rockville, Md., company said there is "substantial uncertainty regarding the patentability of genes based on partial sequences." HGSI also said it planned to file for patents for genes when they were partially sequenced and subsequently if they