The Court's decision was that only the Pittsburgh scientists were the inventors, and that Dr. Hedrick and the other UC scientists were not inventors. As a result, only Pittsburgh and its exclusive worldwide licensee, Artecel, have rights in the composition-of-matter patent covering stem cells isolated from adipose tissue. Existing business agreements of Cytori or others relating to the US and involving the stem cells derived from adipose tissue are likely to be affected by the Court's decision. In addition, activities by Cytori or others to commercialize uses or applications of these adipose stem cells in the US under other patents are also likely to be affected. Other patents that relate to uses or applications of the adipose-derived stem cells cannot be practiced or used commercially without rights to the stem cells themselves. The stem cells themselves are covered by the patent in which the Court has ruled that only Pittsburgh and Artecel have rights.
Adipose stem cells are a particularly valuable and useful category of
adult stem cells that are easily sourced from a small amount of a patient's
adipose (fat) tissue. This sourcing is simple, and can be done from the fat
tissue removed in a liposuction procedure, or done by simply taking a small
sample of a patient's fat tissue. Sourcing of adipose stem cells is not
invasive and painful like the sourcing of a patient's bone marrow for stem
cells. The adipose stem cells have been shown, in a rapidly growing body of
peer reviewed scientific literature, to be quite versatile and able to
differentiate into many different tissue types, including tissues from all
three "germ layers" (the three broad categories of tissues that comprise
the whole human body). The adipose stem cells expand well in culture and
are relatively easy to manufacture and store.
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