Going rogue… How a Canadian children’s hospital challenged gene patents.

Last modified by Ann Watkins on 2016/07/27 19:45

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Join us as we welcome Dr. Gail Graham, Nathaniel Lipkus, Dr. Julie Richer, and Dr. Olga Jarinova to discuss the ground-breaking case that has defined the pathway for all public Canadian hospitals and labs to conduct genetic testing without legal roadblocks from gene patents.

Our panellists will discuss how a children’s hospital (with some great pro-bono lawyers) sought to be the plaintiff in a law suit to challenge the validity of gene patents for a potentially deadly condition.  The result was an agreement to provide CHEO and all other Canadian public sector hospitals and laboratories the right to test Canadians for Long QT syndrome on a not-for-profit basis.  Hear the background story and related insights!


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Dr. Gail Graham is an Ottawa native who completed an MSc in Human Genetics and an MD, both at Queen’s University, followed by a 5-year residency in Medical Genetics at McGill University.  She accepted a staff position as a Clinical Geneticist with the University of Calgary and Alberta Children’s Hospital in 1997 and moved to the University of Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in 2001.   She has been Chief of the CHEO Department of Genetics and Eastern Ontario Regional Genetics Program since 2011.  She has served in numerous leadership roles in the provincial and Canadian Medical Genetics scene, including Chair of the RCPSC Specialty Committee in Medical Genetics, in addition to Board member, Treasurer, Vice-President and President of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG).


Nathaniel Lipkus, a partner in Osler’s Toronto office, is an intellectual property litigator. His practice focuses on contentious legal issues confronting innovation-intensive industries, with an emphasis on patent and regulatory issues facing pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He has represented numerous companies in the life sciences, technology, energy and gaming industries in patent proceedings across Canada and pro hac vice in the United States. Nathaniel was co-lead counsel for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in its Long QT gene patent challenge. He has also litigated trademark, copyright, trade secret and other commercial matters. Nathaniel has advocated on behalf of life sciences clients before numerous regulatory agencies in Canada and the United States on IP, regulatory approval, pricing and reimbursement and antitrust matters. He is a registered patent and trademark agent and also provides strategic advice on IP portfolio and risk management.


Dr. Julie Richer is a clinical medical geneticist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa.  Her clinical practice primarily consists of the care of patients with underlying connective tissue dysplasias, including patients with familial thoracic aneurysms.  Dr Richer also maintains a general genetics practice and is involved in the care of pediatric and adult patients.  Dr Richer completed medical school at L’Université de Montreal, FRCPC in Medical Genetics at the University of Manitoba and a Fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard University.  Dr Richer is particularly interested in ethical issues related to genetics.  Her main areas of interest include perception of risk and issues related to disclosure of results derived from research using untargeted genetic testing as well as patenting of the human genome.  In this regard, she is the lead author of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticist (CCMG) statement on gene patents.


Dr. Olga Jarinova is a Molecular Geneticist in the Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Ottawa. After completing postdoctoral fellowships at the Ottawa Heart Institute and CHEO, she obtained board certification in Molecular Genetics from the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists in 2012.  Dr. Jarinova has been instrumental in expanding cardiovascular genetic testing services and introducing Next Generation Sequencing in the CHEO's Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory.

Created by Ann Watkins on 2016/06/14 16:12