Stem cell patents loosened

WARF lifts some licensing restrictions on industry and academic research, but critics vow to continue challenging the patents

Alison McCook
Jan 22, 2007
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is loosening some licensing terms for their patents covering primate embryonic stem (ES) cells in order to facilitate research, the foundation announced Monday (January 22). These patents have drawn criticism from scientists and non-profit groups who argue they severely limit stem cell science."For years, the research community has been asking WARF to relax its grip on human ES cells, and I applaud the changes," Jeanne Loring of the Burnham Institute told The Scientist. "The change in policy will make collaborations among scientists much easier."However, Loring noted that the research community remains largely beholden to WARF as long as the patents are in place. John Simpson, stem cell project director for the California Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, who joined Loring to challenge the WARF patents last year, told The Scientist he has no plans to withdraw the challenge, and hopes...

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