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Podcast: Risk Management - Breast Cancer, Business and Patents

30 June 2014
Appeared in BioNews 760

Does the pharmaceutical and biotech industry's profit motive actually pervert rather than inspire innovation and the hunt for new therapies? Is the patent system well suited to a new life sciences landscape including stem cell and gene therapies?

What will be the impact of the famous Myriad case, where the US Supreme Court effectively ruled against companies patenting gene sequences as they occur in nature? And, focusing on breast cancer, is Angelina Jolie's assertion that 'the cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2...remains an obstacle for many women' justified?

This podcast features interviews on those questions with the four people - two intellectual property (IP) specialists, an expert in genetics and insurance and a former patient - who spoke at the Progress Educational Trust (PET)'s event 'Risk Management: Breast Cancer, Business and Patents', part of the Wellcome Trust-supported project 'Breast Cancer: Chances, Choices and Genetics'.

Listen to the podcast using the player below, or alternatively download it by clicking here (.mp3 14.9MB).

00:00 James Brooks: Introduction
02:15 Jenny Dunlop: Commercialisation of breast cancer, the pharma industry and
06:00 Dr Ian Cox: Genetics and insurance
09:10 Dr Angela Kukula: IP; the Myriad case; academia/ industry partnerships
13:40 Alexander Denoon: IP and mechanisms to reward innovation in life sciences
22 June 2015 - by Paul Waldron 
Australia's highest court will decide whether isolated molecules of DNA linked to a gene mutation associated with an increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers are patentable under Australian law....
8 September 2014 - by Matthew Thomas 
Gene sequences isolated from the human body are patentable, according to a ruling by the Australian federal court...
28 July 2014 - by James Brooks 
Will the media be forever obsessed with cancer risk? How can we separate fact from fiction in the miles of accumulated column inches amassed by cancer stories every year?...
14 July 2014 - by Rebecca Carr 
Canada's Office of the Privacy Commissioner has issued a statement urging the life and health insurance industry to refrain from asking applicants for access to existing genetic test results...
7 July 2014 - by Dr Nicola Davis 
The Progress Educational Trust's enlightening series of events on breast cancer came to a close on Thursday with 'Breast cancer risk: Facts, fiction and the future'....
9 June 2014 - by Simon Hazelwood-Smith 
The backdrop to the third event in the Progress Educational Trust's 'Breast Cancer: Chances, Choices and Genetics' series was the Myriad Genetics gene patenting legal saga, which came to a conclusion last year with Myriad being denied a patent on the isolated forms of the BRCA genes...
2 June 2014 - by James Brooks 
Is the benefit attributed to widespread breast cancer screening programmes supported by the evidence? What to make of the phenomenon of overdiagnosis, where patients are treated for cancers that would not have spread or been problematic in their lifetime?...
12 May 2014 - by Dr James Heather 
Doctors, survivors and supporters again converged in a basement lecture theatre in Bloomsbury for the second event in PET's 'Breast Cancer' series. On the cards this night: prediction and screening...
28 April 2014 - by James Brooks 
Did Angelina Jolie's famous editorial in the New York Times a year ago inspire an overemphasis on genetic risk in breast cancer? Or has it saved lives by bringing the issue out into the open?...
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