The Niche

Fat patent stem cell wars

One way of knowing that a technology might have commercial applications is when the patent wars start. This week BioCentury reports that a North Carolina company called Artecel just won an exclusive right to a composition-of-matter patent covering stem cells derived from adipose tissue. According to some reports, stem cells in fat appear to be capable of differentiating into other tissue types. Cytori, a California-based stem cell company that no longer has rights to the patent, was developing the cells for heart disease and reconstructive surgeries. Artecel is less specific about its goals, saying the cells will be used for “soft tissue and cosmetics applications.” 

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