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News Link • Healthcare

Court Battle: Corporate Power Vs. Human Genes

• http://www.commondreams.org, Common Dreams staff
 A company can't own genes, said groups fighting to release patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc. at a U.S. appeals court Friday.
 
The Salt Lake City-based Myriad has patents on two genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer creating a monopoly on genetic tests for them, which prevents women from being able to get tests from other laboratories or even second opinions and provides insured profits for Myriad.

“Patent law was never intended to interfere with the rights of scientists and doctors to conduct their research and exchange ideas freely,” said Chris Hansen, staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “Human DNA occurs in nature. It cannot belong to a particular company.”

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