Supreme Court Throws Out Prometheus Laboratories Inc. Patent in Blood Test Dispute, Deals Blow to Biotechs

Published: Mar 21, 2012

The Supreme Court has tossed out a medical patent for Prometheus Laboratories, a decision that could affect the burgeoning field of personalized medicine. The justices on Tuesday unanimously agreed that the patent held by the company -- owned by Switzerland-based Nestle -- was invalid. The patent covers a blood test that helps doctors determine the proper dosage for a drug, thiopurine, to treat autoimmune illnesses. The Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic had challenged the patent, which is keeping them from marketing its own test.

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