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It is great that BMJ is covering the US lawsuit over BRCA gene
patents, as it is an important case no matter how it turns out.
I did want to clarify my statement. I am pretty sure Myriad did
find some DNA molecules that were new, useful and not obvious, and
therefore patentable. I think some of the *claims* in their patents are
broader than what they had found, however, and should not have been
granted in the form they were.
I also believe that many of the problems the plaintiffs in the suit
raise are indeed caused by restrictive practices, and could be eliminated
without litigation or change of law if Myriad merely had formal policies
that permitted verification testing, basic and clinical research,
clarified reimbursement and payment, and if they collaborated with some of
the breast cancer constituencies they have alienated.
Our Duke team did analysis of how patenting and licensing affect clinical access to genetic testing for the Secretary's Advisory Committee for Genetics, Health and Society, US Department of Health and Human Services