25 October 1999
Celera plans to grab gene rights

CELERA Genomics is seeking to patent segments of the human genetic code to cash in on its research before moves are implemented to prevent the privatisation of the code.

The company has previously made clear its intention to become the definitive source of genomic and related agricultural and medical information.

Celera says it has now decoded nearly a third of the entire human genetic blueprint.

It has also predicted that it would complete the job by next year.

This would be simultaneously or even ahead, of a parallel, publicly-funded, project under way in British and US laboratories.

The companys claim could have enormous ramifications and costs. The unravelling of the billions of code in DNA is expected to revolutionise medicine, and pave the way to genetically-based cures.

Celera has said it intends to make the use of its data available on “a subscription basis” to universities and other companies.

  • The Guardian 25/10/99 page 1