This week the biotech world was consumed with questions about genes, and patents, and patents on genes.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet issued a summary judgment ruling (pdf) that Myriad Genetics’ patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were invalid, as were the patents on Myriad’s tests using those genes. Meh. The commentary (including here at Slaw) has been interesting and the public airing of patent policy is much needed and generally productive; but I don’t think the ruling is that big a deal.
In a case of superior serendipity, last week also marked the ten-year anniversary of the first draft of the human genome. The journal Nature marked the occassion with a special issue that contains looks back, looks forward, futurism, skepticism, at least one good mystery and lots of good data.