Tuesday, October 18, 2011

California Stem Cell Agency Blogs on European Ban on hESC Patents

The California stem cell agency today posted a blog item on the European court decision outlawing patents on products created from human embryonic stem cells that basically painted a bleak picture for the field.

The item, written by Geoff Lomax, senior officer for CIRM's Standards Working Group, quoted James Lawford-Davies, a British lawyer, as saying the decision is regarded as "victory by those opposed to the use of embryos for research in the EU."

CIRM did not release a statement on the decision, but pointed to the Lomax item when asked for comment.

New Scientist magazine reported that the decision was based on section of law that banned patents "contrary to public order and morality." The magazine quoted British researcher Peter Coffey, who is moving to UC Santa Barbara assisted by a $4.9 million recruiting grant from CIRM.

Reporter Andy Coghlan wrote,
"'This is a devastating decision which will stop stem cell therapies used in medicine,' said Pete Coffey of University College London.

"Coffey said that the ruling would not jeopardise or delay planned trials of a tiny eye patch to prevent age-related macular degeneration that he helped develop using stem cells. But he said the ruling could jeopardise other treatments. 'This decision will be a major barrier to patients actually receiving these [types of] treatments,' he said. 'I've just won an international prize from the New York Stem Cell Foundation for translating stem-cell research into clinical practice, yet I now find that Europe, the continent in which I'm doing this research, is basically calling me immoral.'

"In a letter to Nature in April protesting at an earlier prior opinion from the court's advocate general, Yves Bot, Coffey and other researchers warned that a ban would drive research outside Europe and obstruct the development of treatments."
CIRM's blog item triggered two comments from readers, who discussed the impact on Advanced Cell Technology of Santa Monica, Ca., which has a technique that does not destroy embryos.

1 comment:

  1. Keep in mind that Greenpeace, who opposed the Bruestle patent, is NOT opposed to stem cell research.



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