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The estate of Henrietta Lacks—an African American woman whose cervical cells were harvested in the 1950s without her knowledge or consent and have since been widely replanted for medical use— announced On Monday it is suing biotechnology giant Thermo Fisher Scientific for compensation, accusing the corporation of profiting from selling products it knew contained Lax cells, and indicating that other More suits could be followed against the companies.

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The federal lawsuit is being filed in Baltimore by renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who said in the announcement that Thermo Fisher “made a conscious choice to sell and mass-produce living tissue”, and accused the corporation of “unjust enrichment”. ” Accused of. “

Co-lawyer Christopher Seeger said in the press release that the family seeks to compensate for the “wrong profits” made by Thermo Fisher’s use of so-called “HeLa” cells.

The lawsuit also seeks to prevent the company from using the Hela cell line without permission from the estate.

It was filed 70 years Till date As Lax died of an aggressive form of cervical cancer at age 31 – months after doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore took Samples of those cancer cells, which have been reproduced infinitely over the decades and used throughout scientific research.

A representative for Thermo Fisher did not immediately return a request for comment. Businesshala.

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Who could be next after Thermo Fisher? Seeger said Monday’s lawsuit was “just the first step” in its search for justice and that corporations “shouldn’t feel alone because they’re going to have a lot of company soon,” hinting that there are more lawsuits against other pharmaceuticals. lawsuits that have benefited from HeLa cells. may be in the works.

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50 million metric tons. This is at least an estimate of how much weight if you collect together all the HeLa cells that have ever evolved, According For Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which earned Lax’s story widespread recognition.

main background

Henrietta Lakes Was The mother of five, originally from Virginia who worked as a tobacco farmer, and was treated for cancer at the then Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Where Many of his descendants are still alive. HeLa cells have proved so important because they were the first immortalized human cells to be grown in culture, making them ideal for laboratory research. Since then they have been used in medical breakthroughs including chemotherapy, in vitro fertilization and the creation of the polio vaccine. But the HeLa cells were developed without the permission of Lax or without the permission of his family (something that was legal at that time) and is part of centuries of racist medicine Abuse Crimes Against Black People in the United States – What Racism Is existing In dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. In 2013, members of the Lax family entered into an agreement with the National Institutes of Health that would give them control over how the genomes of their ancestors are used. lack family hired out Crump in July as part of a broader plan to sue drug companies across the United States that have profited from HeLa cells.

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Skloot’s book was a bestseller and was later customized In a feature-length television film of the same name in 2017 starring Oprah Winfrey.

Henrietta’s family sues biotech company for using famous ‘HeLa’ cells without permission“(baltimore sun)

Henrietta Lacks estate sues the company using its ‘stolen’ cells” (The Associated Press)

Henrietta Lacks and Her Remarkable Cells Will Finally See Some Payback“(wall street journal)

A family consents to a medical gift, after 62 years“(the new York Times)

‘Henrietta Lakes’: the immortal legacy of a donor(NPR)