Court of Justice of the European Union rules that parthenogenetic cells are not embryos; ok for patenting
An organism incapable of developing into a human being is not a human embryo and may be patented, the European Union's top court said on Thursday[18 Dec 2014], opening the door to certain stem cell patents in the European Union.
The court made this judgement following a case brought by US company International Stem Cell Corporation in Britain over whether it could patent processes covering the use of human egg cells
The San Diego Union - Times wrote
The decision allows the biotech company to get patents for its stem cells made from unfertilized, or parthenogenetic, human egg cells.
In related news, the company said Thursday it plans to apply by the end of the year to do a clinical trial of a Parkinson's treatment derived from its parthenogenetic cells.
The trial should begin in a couple of months, said Simon Craw, the company's executive vice president of business development. The company will need to raise about $5 million for the trial, he said.
International Stem Cell is developing these cells as an alternative to human embryonic stem cells, which many regard as morally wrong.
Lisa Haile of DLA Piper noted that the UK and other individual governments have the legal right to make their own decision.