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Not to Worry

The US Supreme Court's decision to take up a gene patenting case isn't worrying some diagnostic companies, The Wall Street Journal reports. Earlier this month, the court announced that it would again be considering the American Civil Liberties Union's case concerning Myriad Genetics' patents regarding BRCA1 and BRCA2, as our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News reported then.

No more gene patents could be a "positive development," Wendy Bost, a spokesperson for Quest Diagnostics tells the Journal, "because it would open new opportunities to develop new testing services based on gene discoveries."

Additionally, the chief executive of AutoGenomics, Fareed Kureshy, says that "if the Supreme Court rules that gene patents are not applicable, you'll see a lot more tests. ... If they decide in favor of Myriad, it will be business as usual."

Myriad says that its patents aren't on the genes, but on the isolated DNA and the process. The Journal adds that in its filings, Myriad has also noted that "human ingenuity [is] required to create isolated DNA molecules."