Cedars-Sinai Medical Experts Available to Comment on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Human Gene Patent

Article ID: 604280

Released: 13-Jun-2013 3:30 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Cedars-Sinai

Expert Pitch

WHO: Two Cedars-Sinai experts are available to comment on today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that genes from humans cannot be patented, which could result in greater access for genetic testing: • Beth Y. Karlan, MD, director of the Women’s Cancer Program at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Chair in Gynecologic Oncology and the director of the Cedars-Sinai Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program.

• Ora Karp Gordon, MD, MS, Director of the Cedars-Sinai GenRISK Adult Genetics Program, which specializes in the identification of genetic risk factors for common diseases of adulthood and director genetics at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute Wasserman Breast Cancer Prevention Program.WHAT: The Supreme Court ruled that companies cannot patent naturally occurring segments of human DNA, but companies are allowed to patent synthetically created strands of composite DNA, or cDNA, which are used in research and drug development.

WHY: “This is a transformative moment for risk assessment and will allow broad availability and competitive pricing for heredity cancer testing,” said Gordon. “This Supreme Court ruling will not have any negative effect on research and development, as there are dozens of other risk genes that are publically available, all of which have been generated from the same research methodology. This decision will eliminate exclusivity testing and allow much greater access to all individuals at risk.”

Karlan adds that “This decision will accelerate scientific discoveries and knowledge surrounding how genetic defects cause cancer. Most importantly, this decision may save thousands of lives by increasing access to vital genetic information.”

HOW: To arrange interviews with Karlan or Gordon, please contact Cara Lasala at 310-423-7798 or cara.lasala@cshs.org or Duke Helfand at 323-336-5914 or duke.helfand@cshs.org. Cedars-Sinai is equipped with VideoLink’s ReadyCam camera, capable of instantly transmitting broadcast quality HD video directly to any network around the world.

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