Mesenchymal stem cell therapy is rapidly becoming a clinical reality. The beauty of this cell population is that it can be used in an "off the shelf" manner and does not appear to have many safety issues. Mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow have been patented by Osiris, whereas cells similar to mesenchymal stem cells have been found in other tissues, for example in the cord blood and most interestingly by Medistem Inc in the menstrual blood called Endometrial Regenerative Cells.
The current patent covers "mesenchymal precursor cells", well actually a method of preparing them.
The patent has 1 independent claim that covers a method of preparing mesenchymal precursor cells by selecting for cells that express the marker STRO-1. Dependent claims include, intra alia, markers such as LFA-3, ICAM-1, PECAM-1, P-selectin. L-selectin, CD49b/CD29, CD49c/CD29, CD49d/CD29, CD29, CD18, CD61, 6-19, thrombomodulin, telomerase, CD10, CD13, integrin beta, and SCF, as well as various concentrations of expression of STRO-1 and various properties of the cells.
It is interesting that specific sources of the mesenchymal stem cell are not mentioned in the independent claim, therefore the "mesenchymal precursor" if it contains the markers cited in the claims, regardless of origin, is infringing on this patent.