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{bio,medical} informatics

Friday, September 08, 2000

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find related articles. powered by google. Nuffield Council on Bioethics THE ETHICS OF PATENTING DNA AND PROTEINS
"Many companies and universities throughout the world are seeking to file patents on gene sequences and proteins. Questions remain, however, over the moral implications of protecting rights to property in this kind of way. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is holding a series of Roundtable meetings to consider the ethical and legal issues raised by this form of patenting and the implications for healthcare.

Research into DNA and proteins offers the possibility of many different kinds of developments in healthcare. New gene-based tests and drugs for a wide range of common diseases will be developed on the basis of knowledge about the human genome and the genomes of bacteria and viruses. What is the proper balance between public and private sectors in these developments? Will broad patents covering important disease genes such as the breast cancer genes restrict the development of affordable tests? What is the role of patent offices? Are they custodians of public good or servants of enterprise? Does the patent system actually encourage innovation in biomedical research?

These questions will be considered by the members of the Roundtable group. They have backgrounds in moral philosophy, clinical genetics, genomics, patent law, pharmaceuticals and anthropology. The Roundtable meetings will produce a Discussion Paper towards the end of 2000 which will aim to help the Courts, patent offices and policy-makers to develop public policy and professional guidance and to promote public debate." [via]
redux [08.26.00]
find related articles. powered by google. MIT Technology Review The Great Gene Grab
"Biotech companies are snapping up patents on human genes. Will the trend mean powerful new medicines, or will it quash biomedical innovation?"
find related articles. powered by google. MIT Technology Review The Case for Gene Patents
"Nowhere are patents more central to the creative process than in genetic drug development, where human genes and their expressed proteins themselves are developed as therapies. The biotechnology industry in the United States has brought a handful of these crucial new products (recombinant human insulin, to name one of the most familiar) to market and is on the threshold of a bonanza of genetic drugs and vastly greater relief for ill and aging populations around the world.

Patent protection is the sine qua non of that bonanza."

find related articles. powered by google. MIT Technology Review Toward Sharing the Genome
"The raw data of the human genome should be an “IP-free zone,” opines author Seth Shulman, to preserve our precious shared genetic heritage and update outmoded notions of intellectual property."
redux [04.26.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Signals Homestead 2000: The Genome
""The analogy that I would use is that of a minefield," said Bob Levy, senior VP of science and technology for American Home Products. "We are spending an incredible amount of time now, when we find exciting targets and begin to validate them, in trying to define who has rights to what. And we're finding, in almost every product that we look at, that someone has patented the protein, the gene, a fragment, a diagnostic test." Levy noted that untangling patent rights, and determining which patents are dominant, are increasingly time-consuming and expensive tasks. And patent-holders must be paid. "The royalties that will be involved soon in some of the products that we are bringing to market, they're already up into the ten, fourteen, fifteen percent [range]," said Levy. "And that may increase with time.""
find related articles. powered by google. White House Judiciary Archive OVERSIGHT HEARING ON "GENE PATENTS AND OTHER GENOMIC INVENTIONS"

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Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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