Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Canadian Patent Update: Should human genes be patentable?

Should human genes be patentable? #Canada is one of only a few countries that currently allow gene patenting. However, 5 Canadian patents relating to genes are being challenged by the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Currently, a few American Universities hold patents in Canada for certain genetic sequences and tests related to diagnosing Long QT Syndrome, a rare heart disorder; but CHEO argues that this could result in patients with this disorder being left without treatment. Alex Munter, CEO of the CHEO, argues: “No one should have a monopoly on something that occurs naturally...Patenting a gene is like patenting the water we drink and the air we breathe. Genetics is the future of medicine, and we need clarity on this issue.” Now the question remains: what will Canada decide? For the access to the full article in Toronto Star click here.

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