BioCentury on BioBusiness,
Politics and Policy
SCOTUS-Myriad protects biotech patenting, but leaves important gray areas
The sky isn't falling
Monday, June 17, 2013
On balance, the biotech industry scored a net win in last week's
Supreme Court ruling in Association
for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad
Genetics Inc. that isolated DNA sequences cannot be patented. The bar
on patent claims for isolated DNA will have little practical effect, and any
immediate downside is outweighed by the benefits of pushing aside a contentious
issue that has tainted public perceptions of the industry and had the potential
to inhibit basic scientific research.
The decision instantly provided
patients access to cheaper breast cancer 1 early onset (BRCA1) and BRCA2 tests,
gave academic scientists more freedom to operate, and immunized biotech
companies from claims that they are trying to "own" the DNA that is
present in every cell in every human.
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