Biotechs Look to Silver Lining on Much-Feared DNA Patent Ruling

June 24, 2013 – In The News

Gerard Norton was quoted in the NJBiz article "Biotechs Look to Silver Lining on Much-Feared DNA Patent Ruling." While the full text can be found in the June 24, 2013, issue of NJBiz, a synopsis is noted below.

On June 13, the Supreme Court ruled that naturally occurring human genes cannot be patented, even when isolated from the body. This ruling could have a major effect on the biotech industry in New Jersey, home to roughly 350 biotech companies, but many are looking to the silver linings instead.

Gerard Norton noted that while the ruling is somewhat of a setback, only approximately 12 percent of biotech research is devoted to naturally occurring genes. “If I take a 12 percent salary reduction, yes, that’s significant,” said Norton. “But I’d still be able to feed my family. Companies have other arrows in the quiver. The biotech industry is still kicking and alive.”

As for the silver lining from the ruling, Norton believes “It will open up competition. It will reduce price, with respect to the consumer. But in terms of broad sweeping negative impact to the biotech industry? We just don’t see it.”