Research Takes On Commerce

Ten years ago, when the link between cancer and genetics was still hazy, the Curie Institute, France's leading cancer research center, hired Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet to head its new oncological genetics department. Under her leadership, the Curie Institute became part of an international effort that identified and sequenced the brca1 gene, which indicates a high risk of breast cancer.

By 1995, Stoppa-Lyonnet could offer her patients a test that identifies brca1 mutations and calculates a woman's predisposition to the disease. Enter the European Patent Office, which in January 2001 granted the American biotechnology company Myriad Genetics a Europe-wide...

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