Thursday, March 24, 2011

Patent protection for stem cells in Europe?


from ScienceBusiness:

Brüstle was granted a German patent relating to his method in 1999, but this was subsequently challenged by the environmental pressure group, Greenpeace, on the basis that the human embryonic stem cell lines used originated from fertilised human eggs and so offended public morality, as set out in the EU Biotechnology Directive on the protection of biotechnology inventions.

In 2006, the German Federal Patent Court partially invalidated the patent, prompting Brüstle to appeal to the German Federal Supreme Court. The Federal Court referred questions about the scope of the Biotechnology Directive to the CJEU, in particular seeking clarification on whether the exclusion of the human embryo from patentability concerns all stages of life from the fertilisation of the ovum, or whether other conditions must be satisfied, such as the attainment of a certain stage of development.

Meanwhile, out at the California stem cell ranch:

Simmering beneath the surface of California's financial crisis is the possibility that the state's $3 billion stem cell agency [CIRM] could become a victim, waylaid as state leaders look for more ways to cut state spending.

Lawmakers and others are discussing the likelihood of a continued suspension of sales of state bonds, which are the lifeblood of the $3 billion California stem cell agency. Without the funds from the bonds, the agency has no cash for its ambitious grant programs.

[from californiastemcellreport]


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