[GRG] Gene Patents for BRCA-1,-2

To Members and Friends of the  Los Angeles Gerontology
Research Group:BRCA-1 and
-2 gene patents… — Steve Coles

Who Invented Your Genes?
bySandra Park,
ACLU
March 29, 2013; Who invented our genes? There are many possible answers
to this question, but I’m pretty sure your answer wouldn’t be,
“Myriad Genetics.”  But that question is at the
heart of our

ongoing challenge to patents Myriad controls on two human genes
called BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, which are associated with inherited risk of
breast and

ovarian cancer. We all have these genes, but people with certain
mutations are much more likely to experience cancer in their
lifetimes.Myriad
argues that it invented the BRCA genes once it “isolated,” or
removed, the genes from the rest of our genome. It then obtained patents
on the “isolated” genes, which give them exclusive rights to
stop all clinical testing and research done on the genes. As a result of
its patents on the genes, Myriad has forced all other laboratories in the
U.S. to stop sequencing these genes when providing patients with their
own genetic information, even when those laboratories would use
different, more comprehensive, or lower priced testing methods.Myriad did
make an important contribution to scientific knowledge. It identified
these genes and found a number of the mutations that are related to
breast cancer risk. But it was not alone.A

new film,
Decoding Annie
Parker, tells the story of Dr. Mary Claire-King, a geneticist who
made the

breakthrough discovery of the location of the BRCA-1 gene and its
connection to hereditary breast cancer, after years of research. It was
Dr. King who named “BRCA-1,” and it was her work that laid the
foundation for Myriad’s sequencing of the gene. It also tells the story
of Annie Parker, a Canadian breast

cancer patient whose Mother and Sister died of the disease, and who
searched for answers about why her family was so deeply
impacted.Yet
despite the contributions of Dr. King and her team,

other scientists from around the world, patients, and millions of
dollars in Federal funding, Myriad was allowed to obtain its exclusive
rights to the BRCA genes.The
Supreme Court has said consistently that patents on products of nature
and laws of nature are invalid, because allowing such patents stand in
the way of scientific progress and innovation. If Einstein had patented
the theory of relativity, or

James Watson and Francis Crick had patented DNA’s double-helical
structure, entire fields of knowledge and scientific and technological
work would have been blocked. We are asking the Court to

apply its precedents to our case, and rule once and for all that
human genes cannot be patented simply because they have been removed from
the body.BRCA-1 and
BRCA-2 are only two of the estimated 20 percent of human genes that have
been patented. How the Supreme Court rules matters not only to patients
like Annie Parker who have family histories of breast and

ovarian cancer, but to all of us who want physicians and scientists
to be free to offer the best options in

medical care and pursue the most promising avenues of research.
_____________________Decoding Annie Parker will have its premiere screening in New York
City on April 2nd, with proceeds benefitting the American

Cancer Society, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, and other
groups. Sandra will be participating in the Q&A that follows the
screening.

Tickets are available here.

L. Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder
Los Angeles Gerontology Research GroupURL:
http://www.grg.org
E-mail: scoles@grg.orgE-mail:
scoles@ucla.edu

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About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. http://www.AgingIntervention.org Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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