WBUR

Expert: Supreme Court Got DNA Ruling Right For Patients And Science

BOSTON — In a decision that is expected to have a huge impact on the biotech industry, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that natural DNA cannot be patented.

The case stemmed from a Utah firm, Myriad Genetics, which claimed patents on two genes.

Eric Lander, president of the Broad Institute, a Cambridge nonprofit focused on genomic medicine, filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that genes are “unambiguously products of nature.”

“If we grant patents on things that nature has already invented it’s really not good for patients, it’s not good for clients and it’s not good for industry,” Lander told WBUR’s Bob Oakes. “We’ve got to distinguish between scientific discoveries about nature — which should be freely available to everybody — and real innovations of humans.”

To listen to our entire conversation with Lander, press play above.

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