But Caution Author: Steven Benowitz

The human genome has become extremely big business.

Peter Medrum
IN DEVELOPMENT: Myriad CEO Peter Meldrum sees increasing industry-academia ties in genetics
Taking the lead from the Human Genome Project, an ambitious $3 billion, 15-year federal effort aimed at analyzing the entire human genetic heritage, industry has begun treading cautiously into the relatively uncharted waters of genetic testing. Several companies, often along with academic collaborators, have begun to make their mark (see accompanying story).

Myriad Genetics Inc., a genetic testing company in Salt Lake City, Utah, recently announced it would begin offering large-scale testing to detect a mutated gene for inherited breast cancer, BRCA1. Myriad, which owns the patent for the gene, has spent some $7 million to isolate and characterize it, and has licensed the therapeutic rights to Eli Lilly and Co. of Indianapolis for an undisclosed amount. Another company, OncorMed-a subsidiary of...

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