The area of cloning is of great interest in terms of therapeutics development, not only from the perspective of generating de novo stem cell populations, but also the possibility of making transgenic animals for practical purposes such as food or protein production. Accordingly, numerous patents have been issued on all sorts of variations of the cloning process, as well as methods of increasing its efficacy. For example, #6,635,802 teaches the use of inhibitors of apoptosis during the synchronization of nuclear donor cells in order to generate nuclei with increased cloning ability. #7,265,262 teaches the augmentation of telomere length on the donor nucleus in order to generate better cloned cells. #7,332,647 covers the use of cultured fish cells as nuclear donors for cloning of fish.
The current patent has an interesting method of cloning. It teaches transferring a nucleus into a first oocyte followed by removing and transferring the nucleus from the oocyte to a further oocyte or to an enucleated fertilized zygote.
We could find no obvious benefits or reason for performing this process from reading the specification.
The first independent claim, which is representative in our opinions is:
"A method of reconstituting a non-primate mammalian embryo, comprising (i) transferring a non-primate mammalian donor nucleus from a diploid somatic cell into a first recipient oocyte; (ii) removing the donor nucleus from the first recipient oocyte; (iii) providing a second recipient oocyte or enucleated fertilized zygote; and (iv) transferring the donor nucleus from the first recipient oocyte into the second recipient oocyte or the enucleated fertilized zygote to obtain a reconstituted non-primate mammalian embryo, wherein the second recipient oocyte is activated prior to, concomitant with or following transfer of the donor nucleus."