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The Henrietta Lacks Estate Sues Biotech Company, Claims They're Profiting Off Stolen HeLa Cells

The estate of Henrietta Lacks is filing a lawsuit against a biotech company that, they claim, is using stolen HeLa cells without the permission of the estate. According to HuffPost, the Lacks estate is claiming that Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, MA, is profiting commercially off of the HeLa cells, and they’ve done so well after the origin of the cells became well-known. “It is outrageous that this company would think that they have intellectual rights property to their grandmother’s cells,” said Benjamin Crump, one of the attorneys for the Henrietta Lacks estate, at a press conference on Oct. 4. “Why is it they have intellectual rights to her cells and can benefit billions of dollars when her family, her flesh and blood, her Black children, get nothing?” Lacks was first brought to the attention of the world thanks to the book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” which was subsequently made into a movie starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. According to the book,...