On Monday March 29 United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled that seven patents held by the biotech company Myriad Genetics were invalid. The patents involved two genes considered to be factors in breast cancer.
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
The judge’s 152-page decision
Michael Crichton called for an end to patenting genes in the “Author’s Note” from his novel Next. He mentioned this biotech company:
Gene patents are bad public policy. We have ample evidence that they hurt patient care and suppress research. When Myriad patented two breast cancer genes, they charged nearly three thousand dollars for the test, even though the cost to create a gene test is nothing like the cost to develop a drug. Not surprisingly, the European patent office revoked that patent on a technicality. The Canadian government announced that it would conduct gene tests without paying for the patent.
Crichton published two op-eds in the New York Times on the topic of gene patents:
This Essay Breaks the Law
March 19, 2006
February 13, 2007
Somewhere, Michael Crichton is smiling. (Again)
Links and more info on Michael Crichton at: