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ASU law professors comment on cancer-gene test court ruling


June 25, 2013

ASU Regents’ Professor Gary Marchant of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and adjunct professor Paul E. Burns were quoted in a June 20 article by Ken Alltucker of The Arizona Republic.

The article, “Court ruling should make cancer-gene test more accessible,” explores a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 13 that struck down a Utah company’s monopoly on a test used to predict breast and ovarian cancer.

Marchant said that the ruling could benefit future research. He said if companies were able to patent human genes, it could make the diagnostic tests more expensive for consumers.

“The court went as far as it needed to go to free researchers and competitive testing labs, to allow them to work without fears of infringing a patent,” said Burns. “We now have a clear view of what the Supreme Court will not allow.”

To read the article, click here.

Marchant’s research interests include the use of genetic information in environmental regulation, risk and the precautionary principle, legal aspects of personalized medicine and regulation of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, neuroscience and biotechnology. He frequently lectures about the intersection of law and science, and is faculty director of the College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation.

Burns, senior counsel at the law firm of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, has a national practice in mediation and arbitration with emphasis on patent and other intellectual property, technology and commercial disputes, and serves as a neutral for the American Arbitration Association and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.