02 Apr. 2012 posted by EuroBioForum
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected two patents on a method for monitoring a patient's blood to determine the best dosage for a drug, a decision that may affect the profitability of personalized medicine.
The justices unanimously overturned on Tuesday a ruling by a U.S. appeals court that allowed the patents for Nestle SA unit Prometheus, with the high court saying that companies could not patent observations about a natural phenomenon.
The patent challenge, brought by a unit of the Mayo Clinic, had been closely watched because it could affect the burgeoning field of personalized medicine, which can also involve determining whether a patient is genetically susceptible to a disease or which patient would respond best to which treatment.
The Supreme Court's opinion, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, concluded that Prometheus' process for monitoring a patient, and adjusting dosage as needed, could not be patented.