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News of the weird/funny/pointless

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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby StlSluggers » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:12 pm

Supreme Court considers patents for ‘personal medicine’ tailored to individual patients

With researchers looking more and more for ways to tailor drugs and tests to each patient’s needs, the Supreme Court on Wednesday considered how far companies can go to protect their profits in the burgeoning “personal medicine” field.

The justices heard from lawyers from the Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic, which wants the court to throw out a patent held by Prometheus Laboratories, owned by Switzerland-based Nestle. Mayo argues the patent would keep its own medical test off the market, at the cost of better care for patients.

The patent in question covers a blood test that helps doctors determine the proper dosage for a drug, thiopurine, to treat gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal autoimmune illnesses.

The patent claims methods of administering thiopurine to a patient and then determining the levels of the drug or the drug’s metabolites — what’s left after it breaks down in the body — in the patient’s red blood cells. That observation is used to adjust the amount of medicine needed for that patient.

The Mayo Clinic formerly used the Prometheus test, but its doctors announced in 2004 that they had come up with their own test and would put that one on the market. Prometheus sued to stop Mayo, but a federal judge invalidated their original patent.

Natural phenomenon and mental processes cannot be patented and the Prometheus test used both, the judge said. That decision was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, leading Mayo to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Personalized medicine is becoming big business in the United States, with companies trying to find the best way to use a person’s genetic makeup to help tailor care and find the most effective individualized treatments for cancer and other illnesses.

“There’s lots of investment to be protected,” noted Justice Stephen Breyer, whose wife sold stock in Nestle on Wednesday morning to clear the way for him to hear the case.

Some of the justices raised questions about the Prometheus patent.

“It’s not a treatment regimen,” Justice Elena Kagan said. “All you have done is pointed out a set of facts that exist in the world and are claiming protection for something that anybody can try to make use of in any way, and you are saying, ‘You have to pay us.’”

“The court has never suggested that there is an extra statutory limitation that prevents patents on developing useful information, even if they have a mental step at the end,” Prometheus lawyer Richard P. Bress said.

The Obama administration has come down on Mayo’s side in this argument. “You can’t get a patent by tacking a mental step onto an utterly conventional process for administering drugs and testing their effects,” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli told the justices.

Mayo lawyer Stephen M. Shapiro argued that Mayo’s test would be more accurate than the one from Prometheus, but the patent is keeping them from bringing it to the market.

“You can’t wipe out a whole field so no one else can have a competing test,” Shapiro said. “The result for the public is that these numbers would be frozen for 20 years and a very serious person couldn’t get a second opinion from Mayo Clinic, which uses different numbers.”

Justices will rule next year.

The full court heard arguments in this case, including Breyer. His wife sold her Nestle stock Wednesday morning after the court was informed Tuesday that Prometheus had been purchased by the Nestle conglomerate earlier this summer.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Depending on where you read, opinions on how this will end up vary wildly. Shoot, that link right there paints Kagan in completely different light than the Post article. So, this one is a tough one to read. Pretty stupid that it's even before the Court, though.
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby StlSluggers » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:14 pm

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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Tavish » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:52 pm

No need to cram cocaine up the poop hole anymore. At least not to smuggle drugs.

Mexican drug cartels building elaborate tunnels
"It's evident that those who constructed these tunnels are specialists, not only for the size but also because it requires study of the soil to prevent it from caving in," said General Gilberto Landeros, a Mexican army commander, during the recent discovery of a Tijuana tunnel. "The machinery they use for construction is really sophisticated."

That tunnel, replete with a hydraulically controlled steel door, elevator and electric rail tracks, was built by the Sinaloa cartel, which controls the California-Mexico border area where the bulk of subterranean passages are, he said.
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Bury me a Royal.
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby bigh0rt » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:06 pm

Tavish wrote:No need to cram cocaine up the poop hole anymore. At least not to smuggle drugs.

Mexican drug cartels building elaborate tunnels
"It's evident that those who constructed these tunnels are specialists, not only for the size but also because it requires study of the soil to prevent it from caving in," said General Gilberto Landeros, a Mexican army commander, during the recent discovery of a Tijuana tunnel. "The machinery they use for construction is really sophisticated."

That tunnel, replete with a hydraulically controlled steel door, elevator and electric rail tracks, was built by the Sinaloa cartel, which controls the California-Mexico border area where the bulk of subterranean passages are, he said.

I feel like they had this in the show Weeds.
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Skin Blues » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:34 am

Yeah they did. As soon it was discovered after Nancy ratted them out they said "don't worry, we're almost done building another one". It's probably the only realistic part of the entire series, now that I think about it.
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby BigLebowski » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:18 pm

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/p ... d=15124289

Whats inside you? HORRIFYING but hilarious
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Re: Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby wrveres » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:59 pm

BigLebowski wrote:http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/patients-bottles-cell-phones-buzz-lightyear-stuck-inside/story?id=15124289

Whats inside you? HORRIFYING but hilarious

Horrifying is right
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Skin Blues » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:43 am

http://www.thestar.com/business/article ... king-price

Apple proved the power of its brand power again, as founding documents of the computer giant sold at auction on Tuesday for $1.59 million (U.S.) ... The Apple documents were signed on April 1, 1976 by the firm’s three co-founders, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. Wayne withdrew 11 days later, relinquishing his 10 per cent share in Apple Computer for $800 plus a later payment of $1,500 from Wozniak and Jobs. Based on Apple’s market capitalization today, Wayne’s 10 per cent stake would be valued at more than $36 billion. The papers sold by Sotheby’s were Wayne’s original copies, which he had sold to American IT executive Wade Saadi in 1994, for “a few thousand dollars,” according to a BBC News report. It was Saadi who had put the papers up for sale at Sotheby’s.

:-D
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:06 am

Now there's a guy who does business the way I would probably do it. !+)
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Art Vandelay » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:58 pm

BigLebowski wrote:http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/patients-bottles-cell-phones-buzz-lightyear-stuck-inside/story?id=15124289

Whats inside you? HORRIFYING but hilarious

Dr. Vilke promised he'd never mention that! I have a perfectly reasonable explanation for how that happened, by the way.
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