Stem cell populations are known from the cord blood as well as the placental matrix. In the current patent a stem cell population from the placenta is covered that possesses markers of adult stem cells as well as embryonic stem cells.
For example, the first claim covers "A composition comprising human stem or progenitor cells and isolated human placental stem cells that are SH2.sup.+, SH3.sup.+, SH4.sup.+ and OCT-4.sup.+, wherein said placental stem cells are obtained from a placenta that has been drained of cord blood and flushed to remove residual blood".
The presence of embryonic stem cell markers such as OCT4 has previously been described in other non-embryonic sources of stem cells such as in the stem cells derived from the amniotic fluid.
This patent is interesting since it has two clinical prophetic examples for the use of the cell population covered. The first involves treatment of ALS and the second involves treatment of atherosclerosis.
Although people may argue that there are issues surrounding the clinical use of allogeneic cell populations, since the cells appear to be mesenchymal, this may not be a significant problem given that mesenchymal stem cells appear to be capable of acting as universal donors.
View this patent on the USPTO website.
Great point Jon, but as you know this field is so bloody crowded these days that it is a miracle for anyone to get composition of matter claims on cells. As we move closer and closer into the future people will start trying to patent source and marker combinations, this poses the important question as to how different does something have to be in comparison to the prior art to issue a patent. This still has not been answered by the courts in a manner relevant to our field. for example if Aastrom has a patent on a cell derived from bone marrow that Aastrom claimed expresses CD444 and in the filings Aastrom described the properties of the cell (which are like MSC) and that the cells have CD444, but did not describe the fact that the cells also have SH2, a marker covered by Osiris. Who owns the patent then? Just cause in our hypothetical situation Aastrom found CD444 does give rights to infringe on the base composition of matter claim...or does it because it is purified by CD444. This is an area that is confusing to most people and should be addressed by learned folks such as yourselfs and Stemcellpatents.com
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Jon Rowley said...
I have seen how these cell populations are isolated, and i must say they have a pretty slick process of obtaining these cell populations from placentas. This patent gives them some composition claims around the cells, although the claims are still limited to their particular process - good but not airtight. A lot better than some of the other cell therapy companies today. I will definitely be commenting at Regeneration-Station on these two patents this week.
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