Fred Sanger on Gene Patenting
  Fred Sanger     Biography    
Recorded: 16 Jun 2005

Well it’s a pity in a way, but one can understand it. But in a way it’s necessary, isn’t it, because people have got to have some reward for working on something that is maybe uncertain, and if you have the patent you get a reward for it, for your research. I think it would be difficult to get people to do research if there wasn’t this—I mean, its rather repetitive research and rather dull. I mean, when I was doing it, you know, I was interested in it because it was sort of new and there were rewards for it that you could get. But if you are in the business and doing all the repetitive work, which is very expensive, then you do need to have a patent, I think. I can’t see that it can be avoided. I watched some talk recently wasn’t there about the question of Alzheimer’s disease and whether it could be treated with, I think it was curry. They said that nobody would work on that because there wasn’t any patent on curry. It would be very expensive to do a repetitive sort of review on testing out curry.

Frederick Sanger, OM, CH, CBE, FRS (born 13 August 1918) is an English biochemist and twice a Nobel laureate in chemistry. In 1958 he was awarded a Nobel prize in chemistry "for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin". In 1980, Walter Gilbert and Sanger shared half of the chemistry prize "for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids". The other half was awarded to Paul Berg "for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant-DNA".

He is the fourth (and only living) person to have been awarded two Nobel Prizes, either wholly or in part.