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It's a Far Cry from the Race to Patent Genes a Decade Ago

The Boston Globe has an op-ed piece from John Maraganore, CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. He argues that "pending decisions by the Supreme Court, the patent office, and Congress could fundamentally change the ground rules for patent protection within the life sciences industry to such a degree that in a decade we may not have an industry remaining."

Maraganore writes that the Supreme Court has made it more difficult to get patents awarded; the patent office is looking to change its review process for biotech applications; and the Patent Reform Act of 2007 that passed the House makes it easier to challenge issued patents. "This perfect storm of challenges to existing patent rules has the potential to wash away this fundamental landscape of intellectual property protection within the life sciences industry," he writes.

 

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.