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Patent controversy: Don’t let breast cancer gene genie out of the bottle

Palombi, L. (2011) Patent controversy: Don’t let breast cancer gene genie out of the bottle. The Conversation, 8 August .

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Abstract

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has found Myriad Genetics is entitled to patents on two sets human genetic mutations used to predict if women have an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The case has been closely monitored here for two reasons:

1) The Australia Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2011 is currently with the Senate and Community Affairs Legislation Committee, whose report on the Bill is due on August 25.

2) The Federal Court of Australia is slated to hear an Australian test case (discussed below) in February 2012.

Dr Luigi Palombi, who has previously written about the Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2011 for The Conversation, gives his response about the implications of the decision for Australia:

The US decision is disappointing because it doesn’t provide a definitive resolution of the real question – should naturally occurring genes be patentable subject matter?

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
Publishers Website: http://theconversation.com/au
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/30070
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