Author Karen McVeigh states arguments for and against patenting human genes. Are human genes “products of nature”, not to be exploited for commercial interests?
Two gene patents held by biotech company Myriad Genetics are being challenged because, “The patents have stymied research and the free exchange of ideas,” according to the plaintiffs in this case.
Nearly 20% of the human genome – more than 4,000 genes, including some linked to Alzheimer’s disease and colon cancer – is already covered by at least one patent,” according to the report.
Myriad president Mark Capone argues that, “Adequate intellectual property protection,” must be maintained or else, “Companies would face significant obstacles conducting pioneering research.”
Christopher Mason, assistant professor at Weill Medical College, “Described the patenting of genes as ‘preposterous‘,” McVeigh reports.