BIO

Industry reactions to the US Supreme Court's decision to invalidate patents on isolated gene sequences were immediate and ranged from elation to disappointment.

A Supreme Court decision against drug developers in Sorrell v. IMS Health could potentially hamper how pharmacy benefit managers can use physician prescription data to drive adoption of pharmacogenomically guided products.

The Senate may be close to passing the SBIR/STTR reauthorization act, which would boost agency set-asides for SBIR, increase the size of Phase I and Phase II awards, and allow VC-owned firms to apply.

A bi-partisan bill with a broad base of support aims to streamline the system.

In a filing with the federal appeals court, the DoJ attempted to strike a balance between rewarding inventions that result from genomic discoveries and ensuring that discoveries of natural phenomena remain in the "storehouse of knowledge of all men." Meanwhile, it's business as usual at the USPTO until the appeals court rules on Myriad's challenged BRCA patents.

The decision ultimately upholds the patent eligibility of certain innovations not tied to a physical instrument, such as software, data-driven processes, and medical diagnostics.

A report issued by Battelle Memorial Foundation and the Biotechnology Industry Organization has found that job creation by US life sciences employers survived the first year of the recession in 2008, and thrived over most of the previous two years. However, the report also showed a decline in bioscience-related patents among the top 10 states in that category.

The SACGHS report advises changes in the law to release diagnostic nucleic acid-based tests and genetics research from infringement liability.

Pages

The US Food and Drug Administration has new guidelines that enable some gene and cell therapies to undergo expedited review, according to the New York Times.

Using gene drives to control invasive species might be too risky, an initial advocate of the approach says.

Researchers have grown tumors in 3D cell cultures to better understand cancer, the Economist reports.

In Science this week: intellectual property experts argue patent battles such as the one over CRISPR are wasteful, and more.