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Dec 22, 2011

Narrow Plurality Sees High Court Siding with Mayo Over Prometheus in Dx Patent Case

  • A narrow plurality of GEN poll voters believes that the U.S. Supreme Court will not uphold the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a case closely watched within molecular diagnostics circles. With regard to Prometheus v. Mayo, 47.5%of voters expect the high court to side with Mayo Collaborative Services (doing business as Mayo Medical Laboratories), while 42.5% voted for Prometheus, and 10% were undecided.

    At issue are patents covering the methods of dosage calibration for thiopurine drugs for gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal autoimmune diseases. The methods were designed to account for the context of a treatment regimen based on the individual patient’s metabolism. Mayo has asked the justices to overturn a Federal Circuit decision last December upholding two diagnostic method patents owned by Prometheus. Diagnostics companies hope the high court’s decision will offer guidance about what intellectual property they can and cannot patent.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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