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Patent My Jeans, NOT My Genes — 9 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for weighing in on this matter. It’s so important that someone like yourself with first hand knowledge and experience with gene patents speaks out. And thank you for including a few of my words and the link to my HP article as well.

  2. Have you read last year’s decision? The point about lithium is that is extremely reactive and doesn’t occur in nature in its raw form. Two of the judges argued that gene patents should be allowed because isolating DNA involves cleaving chemical bonds thereby creating a new molecule that doesn’t exist in nature. The dissenting judge noted that you have to cleave chemical bonds to get Lithium, which isn’t itself patentable, and that, therefore, cleavage of chemical bonds cannot by itself be enough to confer patentability.

    Interestingly, one of the footnotes in last year’s decision mentions an important point that I haven’t seen mentioned in much of the coverage of this case – the patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2 begin expiring next year!

  3. I’m not sure where I land in this debate. I am a newcomer to the subject, having recently read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” My Daughter is also studying molecular genetics in college, so I’m learning more about these issues from our conversations. I will say that both sides have compelling arguments, and I am glad we are bringing these issues out into the public forum. Thank you for your contribution.

  4. Very interesting stuff. I’ve been following the debates around software patents, and this post is a good introduction for me to gene patenting.

    Viewed from a very high altitude, it seems America is devoting enormous effort to using patents, which were intended to spur innovation, instead to stifle it. And sadly, we’re in a state right now in which Congress has lost any ability to correct its course. When public health suffers from the same system that was devised to improve it, course-correction is badly needed.

    Thank you, Dr. W., for this introduction.

  5. My client, Critical Outcome Technologies, was started by two doctors from the faculty of medicine at Western University. They have developed an artificial intelligence platform that has been applied to reduce the time and cost to bring new drugs to market.

    The company’s lead cancer drug candidate, COTI-2, represents a potential breakthrough in cancer treatments as it is effective against mutations of the p53 gene, which are present in more than 50% of all human cancers.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in interviewing the company’s founder, Dr. Wayne Danter, for the purposes of a potential blog post discussing the significance of a drug targeting p53 mutations. Please feel free to email me at trevor@heislercommunications.com


    Trevor Heisler

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