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3.  Genetic Testing For Alzheimer’s And Long-Term Care Insurance 
Health affairs (Project Hope)  2010;29(1):102-108.
A genetic marker known as apolipoprotein E provides a clear signal of a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and thus that person’s future need for long-term care. People who find that they have the variant of the trait that increases Alzheimer’s disease risk are more likely to purchase long-term care insurance after receiving this information. If the information is widely introduced into the insurance market, coverage rates could be affected in different ways, depending on who possesses that information. Policymakers will eventually need to confront the issue of the use of this and other markers in the pricing of long-term care insurance.
PMCID: PMC2931337  PMID: 20048367
4.  Columbia University’s Axel Patents: Technology Transfer and Implications for the Bayh-Dole Act 
The Milbank quarterly  2009;87(3):683-715.
The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which gave federal grantees and contractors the right to patent and license inventions stemming from federally funded research, was intended to encourage commercial dissemination of research that would otherwise languish for want of a patent incentive (Eisenberg 1996; Berman 2008). The case of Columbia University’s Axel patents, which claimed a scientific method to introduce foreign proteins into nucleated cells, illustrates a secondary outcome of the Bayh-Dole Act: the incentive for federal grantees and contractors to pursue royalty revenues from patented research, even in inventions for which commercial use did not require patents.
The authors conducted oral interviews with two of the three inventors, as well as a former high-ranking administrator at Columbia; corresponded with several faculty members at Columbia to obtain key royalty figures and information about Columbia’s licensing strategy; performed patent searches; examined legal records of court proceedings; and analyzed citation trends for the seminal papers disclosing the invention of co-transformation.
Columbia University and the inventors profited handsomely from the Axel patents, earning $790 in revenues through licensing arrangements that tapped profits from end-products made by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Columbia’s aggressive effort to extend the patent duration also led to considerable legal expenditures and fierce controversy. Obtaining and enforcing a 2002 patent, in particular, proved costly, politically difficult, financially fruitless, and attracted intense criticism for behavior unbecoming a nonprofit academic institution.
This case study raises several important questions about the logic of Bayh-Dole and future revisions of the Act: are revenue generation and financial rewards for inventing valuable technologies legitimate goals for the Bayh-Dole Act? If so, does the federal government need credible mechanisms for oversight, or checks and balances on the rights conferred?
PMCID: PMC2750841  PMID: 19751286
Biotechnology; History; Intellectual Property
6.  Genomics Research: World Survey of Public Funding 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:472.
Over the past two decades, genomics has evolved as a scientific research discipline. Genomics research was fueled initially by government and nonprofit funding sources, later augmented by private research and development (R&D) funding. Citizens and taxpayers of many countries have funded much of the research, and have expectations about access to the resulting information and knowledge. While access to knowledge gained from all publicly funded research is desired, access is especially important for fields that have broad social impact and stimulate public dialogue. Genomics is one such field, where public concerns are raised for reasons such as health care and insurance implications, as well as personal and ancestral identification. Thus, genomics has grown rapidly as a field, and attracts considerable interest.
One way to study the growth of a field of research is to examine its funding. This study focuses on public funding of genomics research, identifying and collecting data from major government and nonprofit organizations around the world, and updating previous estimates of world genomics research funding, including information about geographical origins. We initially identified 89 publicly funded organizations; we requested information about each organization's funding of genomics research. Of these organizations, 48 responded and 34 reported genomics research expenditures (of those that responded but did not supply information, some did not fund such research, others could not quantify it). The figures reported here include all the largest funders and we estimate that we have accounted for most of the genomics research funding from government and nonprofit sources.
Aggregate spending on genomics research from 34 funding sources averaged around $2.9 billion in 2003 – 2006. The United States spent more than any other country on genomics research, corresponding to 35% of the overall worldwide public funding (compared to 49% US share of public health research funding for all purposes). When adjusted to genomics funding intensity, however, the United States dropped below Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as measured both by genomics research expenditure per capita and per Gross Domestic Product.
PMCID: PMC2576262  PMID: 18847466

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