Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
>
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Geron Issues Statement regarding European Patent Office Decision in WARF Patent Appeal

Published: Friday, November 28, 2008
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Bookmark and Share
Geron Corporation announced that the Enlarged Board of Appeals of the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a decision in case G0002/06, which was an appeal by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) against the rejection of claims in WARF’s European Patent Application No. 96903521.1.

The claims of the application pertain to the first isolation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) by Dr. James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin.

The decision upholds the rejection of WARF’s claims as being impermissible under a rule of the European Patent Convention that prohibits the patenting of inventions which concern “the uses of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes.”

In reaching its decision, the Enlarged Board of Appeals emphasised the fact that at the time that the priority patent application was filed (in 1995), the only method of obtaining hESCs, as described in the application, required the use of a human embryo. In contrast, following Thomson’s discovery, many hESC lines became widely available through stem cell banks, obviating the need for researchers to culture the cells from embryonic material. Therefore, this decision should not affect patent applications for later-developed hESC technologies, including technologies developed by Geron to enable scalable manufacture of hESCs for therapeutic and drug discovery applications, and their differentiation into a range of functional cell types, such a pancreatic islet cells and cardiomyocytes.

Indeed the EPO’s own commentary on the decision states that the “decision does not concern the general question of human stem cell patentability.” Furthermore the decision does not affect the patentability of hESCs in other jurisdictions, such as the U.S., that do not have similar restrictions on patentable subject matter. Moreover, some European countries, such as the U.K., explicitly permit the patenting of hESCs.

“While this result is not unexpected given the language of the EPC rule, given the narrow basis for the decision, it should have very limited impact on Geron’s ability to protect our hESC technologies in Europe,” said David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D., Geron’s chief patent counsel and senior vice-president of business development.

“The facts underlying the decision are specific to the WARF patent application and, importantly, the EPO did not rule that hESC technologies in general are not patentable in Europe. We are optimistic that the EPO will now move to allow the backlog of Geron’s European patent applications that have been on hold pending this decision. These patent applications will underpin Geron’s proprietary position in Europe for both therapeutic and drug discovery applications based on hESCs.”

Geron has an extensive portfolio of patents covering hESC technologies, including Geron-owned patents covering technologies developed by Geron scientists, as well as in-licensed patents. Geron’s hESC patent portfolio includes
34 issued U.S. patents, 15 issued U.K patents and approximately 60 issued in other countries, as well as over 220 applications pending worldwide.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Geron Corporation Appoints Karin Eastham to its Board of Directors
Geron Corporation has announced the appointment of Karin Eastham to its board of directors. Ms. Eastham will also serve as chair of the company’s audit committee.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Geron Receives FDA Clearance to Begin World's First Human Clinical Trial of Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Therapy
Geron Corporation announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted clearance of the company’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the clinical trial of GRNOPC1 in patients with acute spinal cord injury.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Geron Scientists and Collaborators Demonstrate Activity of Pancreatic Islet-like Cells Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Diabetes
Survival of Diabetic Mice Improved After Transplantation of hESC-derived ILCs.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Scientific News
Stem Cell ‘Heart Patch’ Almost Perfected
Scientists aiming to perfect and test 3D "heart patches" in animal model, last hurdle before human patients.
Stem Cells Growing 3D Lung-in-a-Dish
Researchers have created 3D lung-like tissue from lung-derived stem cells. The tissue can be used to study lung diseases.
MRI Guidance Aids Stem Cell Delivery
Scientists have delivered stem cells to the brain with unprecedented precision, infusing the cells under real-time MRI guidance.
Mechanisms of Parkinson’s Pathology
Defects that lead to cells’ failure to decommission faulty mitochondria cause nerve cells to die, triggering the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Stem Cell Transplant Without Radiation or Chemotherapy
Researchers have successfully performed stem cell transplants without using radiation or chemotherapy.
Advanced Lymphoma in Remission After T-Cell Therapy
63% of trial participants who recieved two-drug combination chemo plus intermediate dose of engineered T cells went into complete remission.
Inherited Heart Condition Breakthrough
Using stem cells, scientists have created a specific heart condition model, yeilding insights into unexpected disease mechanisms.
Biobank Storage Time Affects Blood Test Results
Study finds storage time of blood samples at a biobank may affect test results as much as patient age.
Transplanted Stem Cells Age Cells by 30 Years
Research suggests stem cell transplants are linked to an increase in immune cell's “molecular age” from blood cancer patients.
Commanding Stem Cells to Build Bone
Natural molecule can coax stem cells into regenerating bone tissue, researchers have discovered.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!