Landmark Patent Ruling Over Breast Cancer Gene BRCA1

Cancer Voices Australia brought the case as it believed Myriad Genetics Inc, which owns the patent on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 linked to breast and ovarian cancer had an unfair monopoly on a naturally occurring gene.  It’s the first time the validity of genetic patents has been tested in an Australian court.  Cancer Voices sought to void the genetic patenting on the basis they were natural “discoveries”.  Justice John Nicholas handed down his judgment this morning and explained the two genes, isolated from their natural cells in which they were found, constituted a “manner of manufacture” and could therefore be patented.

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