Slowing down UK stem cell research?

The most amazing thing about stem cells is that they can be transformed into any cells in the body, including nerve cells. And it's hoped that they may ultimately be able to replace the nerve cells that have died in Parkinson's.

We've made fantastic progress with this type of research in the past few years. As well as using embryonic stem cells, we can now take skin cells from an individual and transform them directly into nerve cells. This is cutting edge science that offers real hope in the future for people with Parkinson's.

But a recent ruling from the European Court of Justice may slow down this vital research. They ruled that stem cells cannot be patented by the company that generates them. The problem refers to who owns the cells.

So what does this actually mean for stem cell researchers? Well, in reality you can't actually patent an embryonic stem cell itself - but you can patent the cell that derives from it. This latest ruling may change that.

Being realistic, biotech companies will only invest in research if they are likely to get a return for their investment. If they can't patent the cells, it just doesn't make good business sense to pay for the research, only for somebody else to come along and use them.

This could significantly decrease the amount of stem cell research done in Europe. Our ambitious 5-year research strategy is pushing our search for a cure to a new level, so we'll be watching this really closely and hoping there's no impact on the UK.

To find out more about stem cell research in Europe visit

1 comment:

Cleaved Caspase-3 said...


Thanks for providing these useful tips over here. Stem cell research offers much hope for alleviating the human suffering brought on by the ravages of disease and injury, these are characterized by their capacity for self renewal and their ability to differentiate into all types of cells of the body...

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