Gene patent practice across plant and human genomes

Nature Biotechnology,  October 08, 2015

Author: Jefferson, O.A., Köllhofer, D., Ehrich, T.H. & Jefferson, R. A.
Nature Biotechnology  33 (10)  1033-1038

In human medicine, a successful new product or process can create a strong economic incentive to pay whatever it takes to be healthy, with the potential profit in conventional business models correspondingly very high. This huge value-capture opportunity is used to justify high-capital and high-risk innovation and investment, with corresponding patenting strategies. For instance, inventions that enable the development of small-molecule pharmaceuticals that associate with protein or nucleotide targets (such as receptors) or of direct biological interventions such as vaccines, RNA or protein-based therapeutics are attractive and potentially lucrative commercial pursuits. Similarly, diagnostics that detect allelic variation in human genes or proteins or detect and discriminate between genetic variants of human pathogens or beneficials have high potential value.

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