Attorneys React to High Court’s Gene Patent Ruling

June 13, 2013 – In The News

Gerard Norton was quoted in the Law360 article "Attorneys React to High Court's Gene Patent Ruling." While the full text can be found in the June 13, 2013, issue of Law360, a synopsis is noted below.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Myriad Genetics Inc.’s patents on isolated DNA associated with breast cancer risk on Thursday, unanimously ruling that human genes cannot be patented.

Gerard Norton was one of the attorneys who weighed in on the ruling, saying, “While this has been referred to as a gene patent case, the question involved isn't about genes inside any particular human being, but rather about synthetic molecules made in the laboratory for diagnostic purposes. The implications span the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture and others, and could have a wide-reaching impact on innovation. Also, concerns surround the impact on further development of diagnostics in the area of personalized medicine. These tests can help determine which drugs are right for a patient based on genetic makeup or because of response level or susceptibility to side effects. In the long run, this type of innovation produces a tremendous cost savings — not to mention a boost for patient safety — if we can identify which therapies will and won't work for a particular patient before beginning what may be an expensive — or even dangerous — therapy for that patient."