Test based on natural processes cannot be patented, rules US court

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 23 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2290
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The US Supreme Court has ruled as invalid two patents on a test that helps doctors determine drug dosage for autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease, in a landmark decision that will affect the growing field of personalised medicine.

The justices ruled unanimously that patents on a test developed by Prometheus Laboratories were invalid because they were based on the laws of nature.

The test was designed to find out the level of thiopurine that should be administered to an individual patient: too much might be toxic, …

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