Below are words from our fearless leader, Sue Friedman, on the amazing UNANIMOUS decision of the Supreme Court against gene patenting, specifically against Myriad’s patents on the BRCA1 and 2 genes.
Today the United States Supreme Court made history when it unanimously ruled that the Myriad Genetics’ patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were invalid.
FORCE agrees with the Court that genes – as products of nature – should not be patented. FORCE filed an amicus brief in support of the ACLU and testified to the Patent and Trademark Office about the burden that gene patents place on members of our community.
So what does this mean for our community?
- It paves the way for other companies to test for mutations on these genes and in fact companies have already stepped forward to offer BRCA testing at a lower cost than Myriad’s test. FORCE will be compiling a list of labs offering BRCA testing.
- Patients will now have the opportunity to get a second opinion to confirm their genetic test results prior to making life altering preventive surgery decisions.
- More women (and men) will have access to potentially life-saving genetic information because competition has lowered the cost of these genetic tests.
- No single company will be able to prevent others from conducting testing and research on the BRCA genes.
- As more people learn their risk for cancer and their genetic status, this could accelerate clinical trial participation and hereditary cancer research.