Latha Jishnu: Attack of the gene fiends
By Latha Jishnu / New Delhi 10/29/08
You can follow the link to get the entire story! http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=338616
This article was an eye opener for me. Apparently, the U.S. Patent & Trademark office hands out gene patents & the BRCA testing is done by a “monopoly” American company named Myriad Genetics (they own the patent). A similar thing is happening in Australia where Genetic Technologies, which licenses the breast cancer patents from Myriad, is insisting on similar patent restrictions.This blocks further research by any other company & with no competition there is no regulation on test costs & no competition for new discoveries. Women can’t even donate their mutated BRCA genes for research elsewhere because Myriad holds the patent. Litigation is also not realistic because it is too costly & time consuming. In Europe- the European Society of Human Genetics has suggested the focus should shift to who should develop genetic testing & what intellectual property rights they should have. This will free up more companies to research & develop new things to better our genetic health.