Amersham takes over USB - Canadian price for Sequenase soars

Jim Owens jow at
Fri Jul 30 09:40:58 EST 1993

In article <9307271417.AA09398 at> ,
>their price. I think that there is only one way to stop their price
>increase.  That is one of us make the enzyme.  There should be no problem
>as long as you do not sell the enzyme.  You might ask who will make the
>enzyme.  Our institute in Hospital for Sick Children does.   If you could
>get a sequenase clone and mail it to us, you can enjoy free sequenase for
>your life time.  We have been using home-made-Taq and we saved a lot of
>money (not like some body thought-just a few bucks).
>        If you find a good plasmid, contact Dr. James D. Friesen,
>or the Research Institute, or me by e-mail. 

In article <CAuopw.6JD at> the End,
jgraham at writes:
>Indeed, we have a thermophile here that produced a nice batch of Taq
>and released it to the department saving us all about half the 
>cost and paying off his own efforts. This single large scale prep has
>out for about a year and I would imagine it will last a while longer.
>Its about time we see scientists take matters back into their own hands.

I would recommend that people in the USA not mention making Taq
Polymerase in public.  Although my understanding of US law is not to be
taken as Gospel, I discussed this with my wife who has some exposure to
Patent Law in her work.  The Patent owner not only retains the right to
sell the patented material but also controls it's use.  In other words,
you cannot legally make your own Taq polymerase for your own PCRs, much
less give it away to others.  It makes sense in a perverse way, in that
the patent owner is losing sales.  Perhaps it is different in Canada or
other countries.  

See a letter to the editor in Science March 12, 1993, p1521-1522, by
Sederoff to see Hoffman LaRoche's attitude.  In this letter, Roche would
not permit Sederoff's group to make their own Taq polymerase to carry out
a massive PCR project even though the cost of commercial enzyme for one
year would be greater than the entire budget of their three-year grant. 
This letter also suggested that the cost savings of making your own Taq
polymerase should be much higher than suggested  by Jim Graham.

Good luck, and keep your head low,

Jim Owens

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