American corporation's patenting of breast cancer gene overturned

8 Oct 2007
A controversial patent, granted to Myriad Genetics in 2001, which laid claim to a gene indicative of predisposition to breast cancer, has been scrapped for good, it was reported in the Telegraph today.

EP699754 ensured a monopoly on testing for BRCA1 and meant that Myriad could charge up to $3000 for testing. After six years of opposition from scientists and patients alike, the European Patent Office (EPO) ruled that the corporation did not have a justified claim of ownership and that the patent would hinder further research.

Tests for BRCA1 are now expected to decrease to less than $1000 (around £500).

EPO’s decision has been welcomed by both scientists and patients; being seen as a landmark for the greater good over financial gain.