Supreme Court weighing arguments in breast cancer genes case

See on Scoop.itAdvocacy Action & Issues in Cancer

The US Supreme Court is now weighing the Association of Molecular Pathology v USPTO case over the patentability of breast cancer genes.

Heather Swift‘s insight:

Susan Zager’s insight:

This article reviews what is going on in the Supreme Court case against Myriad who is trying to patent our genes. Within the article:


"‘Myriad has a monopoly on BRCA genetic testing in the U.S. and therefore controls the type and price of testing,’ the group said. ‘Thus, while genetic testing technologies have advanced to the point where all 23,000 human genes can be sequenced for $1000, Myriad has raised its price for BRCA genetic testing to over $4000 in the past few years and still does not capture all known mutations.’

It added: ‘Other laboratories cannot provide second opinions, and they cannot include the BRCA genes when offering testing of the multiple genes that are now associated with breast and ovarian cancer risk. Gene patents also have a chilling effect on research. Researchers must either obtain permission from the patent holder, or run the risk of being sued.’

Meanwhile, Daniel B Ravicher – executive director of co-sponsor the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) – said: ‘The [USPTO’S] policy of granting companies complete control over portions of our bodies is … a clear violation of the law. Genes are the foundation of life – they are created by nature, not by man.’


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