Thursday, June 27, 2013

Supreme Court Says No to Human Gene Patent

The Supreme Court ruled recently that human genes are not patentable. The court found that isolating the BRCA1  and BRCA2 gene does not constitute an “act of invention.” 

 Myriad Genetics has held the exclusive right to test for these genes ( if mutated, hugely increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancers) for the past two decades. 

The court said that naturally occurring DNA cannot be patented, however artificial genes can be......

The most direct impact  is it now opens the door for many other companies to begin testing on genes that were previously patented, and a decrease in cost due to greater competition.

Myriad Genetics has charged nearly $4,000 for the cancer causing gene testing.  The new ruling could reduce the costs and eventually decrease it to as little as $1,000. 

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