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Can Human Genes Be Patented?

On Monday, April 15, 2013, the United States Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Myriad’s patents on two isolated genes, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.  The two patented genes, when mutated, can put women at higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer.  With the granted patents, Myriad has secured its position as the only place to go for testing of these genes, with a high price tag.  Scientists, researchers and patients who believe the patents are blocking further research and limiting the availability of testing, are leading the challenge against Myriad’s patents.

Below is an in-depth look at patent eligibility and the challenge against Myriad, from Mercedes Meyer (may take a few moments to load):

Download (PPT, 11.27MB)

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About this Author

Mercedes Meyer, Pharmaceutical and IP Lawyer, Drinker Biddle

Mercedes K. Meyer, Ph.D. collaborates with her life sciences clients from start-up to Fortune 500 companies on their patent portfolio strategy and manages an extensive biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent prosecution practice. She drafts, prosecutes, opines and oversees global patent portfolio management, development, investment and acquisition. She works with Boards of Directors on start-ups for innovation monetization. She has experience in due diligence, patent interferences, reexamination, litigation, drug pricing and bioethics issues.