gene patents

Constitutionality of Patenting Gene Sequencing Reaches Supreme Court

The Lund Report
Its decision could affect whether private companies can charge inflated prices for tests such as the BRCA gene for breast cancer

OPINION -- February 2, 2012 -- The Supreme Court is going to rule on the case of whether it is constitutional for biotech companies to be able to patent gene sequences. This will be a landmark patent case, since currently about 20 percent of the human genome is patented for various diseases. 

If the lower court is overturned, it means that a lot of companies that have spent a lot of money making sure they have exclusive rights to commercialization of treatments and testing for specific disease genes, could stand to lose big.

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