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    Sydney Morning Herald: Sick babies denied treatment in DNA row
    Submitted by Gary Van Domselaar; posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2008


    ``Babies with a severe form of epilepsy risk having their diagnosis delayed and their treatment compromised because of a company's patent on a key gene.

    ``It is the first evidence that private intellectual property rights over human DNA are adversely affecting medical care.

    ``Deepak Gill, head of neurology at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, said he would test at least 50 per cent more infants for the SCN1A gene - which would diagnose the disabling Dravet syndrome - if the hospital could conduct the test in-house.

    ``But rights to the gene are controlled by the Melbourne-based Genetic Technologies, which has already threatened to stop public hospitals testing for breast cancer gene mutations, and the hospital will not risk a similar problem.''


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