Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Judge says genes can't be patented

Omg, a ruling *against* big phrama?

In the first major court ruling on the legality of patenting human genes for diagnosis, a federal judge Monday invalidated patents held by biotech company Myriad Genetics on the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. The decision could affect the patents covering thousands of human genes, with potential impacts for patients and medical researchers alike, says a Duke University expert on the issue.

"This is the first time a judge has ruled on gene patents in a conflict about diagnosis," says Robert Cook-Deegan, the director of the Center for Genome Ethics, Law & Policy at Duke's Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. "This completely changes the game, at least for now. Judge Sweet reached a decision the opposite of prior cases. One big difference is that this case is about diagnostics, getting information about DNA in a person’s cells, and not about using DNA to make drugs."

What would make someone think they could patent something like this in the first place?

Pssssst, money

Oh right...

Read more here.

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