As we have reported frequently, the patentability of genetic sequences has been hotly debated. Myriad licensed university research that identified certain DNA sequences that indicate a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. These tests are highly valuable because they dictate how aggressive a doctor should treat or monitor a patient.
MSNBC reported the controversy today in a story entitled “Supreme Court gene patent decision could affect every patient.” Indeed this decision will have an impact on personalized medicine….the approach to treat each patient as an genetically unique individual and optimize their treatment accordingly.
If the Supreme Court decides against the patentability of gene patents as diagnostic markers, then life-saving research projects may lose all private funding because there would be no opportunity to recapture the research and development expenses.