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Supreme Court will rule on whether patents for BRAC1 and BRAC2 genes are valid

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8266 (Published 05 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8266
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The US Supreme Court is to decide whether isolated sequences of genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer may be patented, in a case with far reaching implications for genetic research and healthcare.

The case will decide the validity of US patents held by Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which give them a monopoly on commercial screening for the genes, which can increase the risk of cancer.

The long running lawsuit has been brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation on behalf of the …

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