17.06.2013 - Industry organisations and biotech experts have welcomed the vote of the US Supreme Court to allow cDNA to be patented.
In a groundbreaking verdict, the nine judges of the highest Court of the United States said that DNA generally cannot be patented because it occurs in nature. However judge Clarence Thomas added that cDNA is made by man and thus can be patented by biotech firms.
The vote in the case Myriad Genetics vs the American Society for Pathology is a well-balanced compromise. Researchers had argued that Myriad Genetics’ current practice to prohibit any isolation of BRCA1 and BRAC2 gene sequences predictive for breast or ovarian cancer hampered research and innovation. Companies and pharma organisations told European Biotechnology News, the verdict was good news for the industry as most biotech patents include claims on modified DNA sequences not occurring in nature.
„Roche welcomes that the US Supreme Court confirmed that cDNA is patent-eligible“, a spokesman told EuroBiotechNews.„IP on our medicaments and diagnostics mostly is not based on naturally occurring DNA.“ Sigfried Throm from the German pharma association vfa confirmed: „The verdict does not affect drugs made by genetically engineering as they are systematically modified compared to their natural counterpart." Diagnostics expert Joerg Hollidt, CEO of IVD firms in.vent Diagnostica and DRDx said that the decision will foster patenting of cDNA and technology claims. "The decision cannot and will not stop the development of personalised medicine or personalised diagnostics“, stressed Hollidt.
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