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US: No human gene patenting means razed barriers for medical innovation

 |  June 14, 2013

The Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that a patent cannot be held on isolated human genes, a decision that breaks down barriers for medical innovation. Patents originally held by Myriad Genetics on two human genes are now thrown out, meaning the company can no longer hold exclusive rights to diagnostic tests that are based on the two genes, which cause types of cancer when mutated. SCOTUS ruled that human genes are naturally occurring and therefore cannot be patented even if isolated; the Court ruled, however, that synthetic DNA sequences are eligible for patent protection. Reports say the ruling will open doors for increased competitiveness and innovation in the healthcare field, ultimately resulting in lower costs for medical services.

Full Content: The Scientist

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