Alzheimer’s Mice Still Available

Dropped from a patent lawsuit, at least one lab will be allowed to continue research on mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

By | August 17, 2011

MouseWikimedia Commons, Rama


Last week (August 9) the Alzheimer’s Institute of America (AIA) dropped its lawsuit against the Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine, for patent infringement in the distribution of transgenic mouse models of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, reports Nature.

The AIA, based in St. Louis, Missouri, first filed suit against the Jackson Laboratory and several other institutes and companies in February 2010. As the patent holder for the so-called Swedish mutation, which causes the disease in mice, the AIA allows non-profit research on its mouse models, but was concerned that the Jackson Laboratory was profiting from their sale of 22 mouse models--a patent infringement, Nature reported. In December, the Jackson Laboratory requested help from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) because much of its work to distribute the Alzheimer’s mouse models to researchers is federally funded.

Last month (June 17), the NIH responded to Jackson Laboratory’s request for help by granting its “authorization and consent” for the lab to use any US patented invention as long as it was operating as a government contractor. This move effectively shields the lab from patent litigation. The AIA could have chosen to pursue a lawsuit against the NIH, but instead dismissed the Jackson Laboratory from the suit. They continue to pursue litigation against the remaining defendants.

"So much Alzheimer's research depends on the transgenic mice that express this mutation," Rudolph Tanzi, an Alzheimer’s researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Nature. “I think you need to respect people's intellectual property, but the impact on field if the mice were not freely available would be devastating.”

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Running on Empty
    Features Running on Empty

    Regularly taking breaks from eating—for hours or days—can trigger changes both expected, such as in metabolic dynamics and inflammation, and surprising, as in immune system function and cancer progression.

  2. Gut Feeling
    Daily News Gut Feeling

    Sensory cells of the mouse intestine let the brain know if certain compounds are present by speaking directly to gut neurons via serotonin.

  3. Athletes’ Microbiomes Differ from Nonathletes
  4. Government Nixes Teaching Evolution in Turkish Schools