Category Archives: Molecular

AACC 2016, Diagnostics Industry Event

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In my opinion, this year’s AACC Conference, one of the major international gatherings of the medical diagnostic industry, was notable for two elements.

First, finally this year, molecular diagnostics seemed to be a mainstream methodology given the prominence and exhibition floorspace dedicated to molecular diagnostic companies.

Representatives of clinical labs with which I spoke, expressed concern about adding the new technology with new demands on lab staff in light of budget pressures. These representatives, however, seemed resigned to the inevitable and curious to learn what’s now available.

Second, the bifurcation of the industry into whales and minnows is increasing. I base this observation on my perceptions versus actual exhibition floorspace statistics.

This year, several small diagnostic companies which have been regular exhibitors in prior years opted to not host a booth or avoid the conference altogether. Giant companies still seem to have the budget while smaller companies weigh every cost. For some, the AACC is simply not essential.

I will continue to attend because the AACC is a great event to see colleagues and meet new friends. As in past years, some of my most rewarding meetings were from chance encounters.

IMG-20160803-00728Also, on the topic of serendipity, one of my favorite discoveries was the Reading Market food court below the conference hall. In that warren of food stalls, there’s something for everyone.

Philadelphia was a good host city. Philadelphians lived up to their reputation, guiding this lost traveler when needed with a generous spirit.

I look forward to following up on conversations and planning for next year in San Diego.

Monitor Myriad’s Legal Battle via Genomeweb

twitstedDNAMonitoring the twists and turns of the battle between Myriad et al and competitors over the freedom to use genetic tests will run for some time and will likely have significant influence on the industry.

I’m monitoring this battle using via a subscription obtained at the recent AACC in Houston, Tx.

Click here for a recent article on the subject and a sign up form for a free trial.

Click here for my background article on the subject.

  By Dennis McCarthy

Genes not Patentable per Supreme Court

twitstedDNAKing & Spaulding, the law firm, provided an update on a key US Supreme Court life science  ruling.

“On June 13, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology et. al. v. Myriad Genetics, the outcome of which was considered crucial in the development of genetic research.

The Supreme Court, in ruling against Myriad, held that isolated human genes in and of themselves are not patentable. Separating the gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention as contemplated by the controlling statute. But the Court found that a synthetic version of the gene created in the lab could be protected by patent. It also hinted that the process employed to isolate the genes could perhaps be patented, though the genes themselves could not.”

Click here to go to the article.
 By Dennis McCarthy