Adjust Font Size:

Press Releases

European Ruling May Not Impact Stem Cell Lines Derived Using Advanced Cell Technology's Single-Blastomere Method

Non-Destructive Technique for Generating Human Embryonic Stem Cells May Survive Recent Challenge to European Patent System

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Oct. 18, 2011 – Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (“ACT”; OTCBB: ACTC), a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, commented on the decision issued today by the European Court of Justice decision in the matter of Oliver Brüstle v Greenpeace. The Company believes that it will have minimal impact on ACT’s commercial efforts.

The ruling in the Brüstle v Greenpeace case follows a challenge by Greenpeace over a European patent granted for nerve cells generated from embryonic stem cells. In rendering its decision, the court specifically stated that “an invention must be regarded as unpatentable, even if the claims of the patent do not concern the use of human embryos, where the implementation of the invention requires the destruction of human embryos.” In this case, the inventor Oliver Brüstle sought patent protection for neurons generated from human embryonic stem cells, and failed to disclose any technique for generating the starting embryonic stem cells other than through destruction of an embryo.

“This decision is narrower than the popular press has made it out to be over the first few hours after it was released. While this decision represents an unfortunate step by the European Courts, we are encouraged from our early analysis, as well as statements from Greenpeace, that the decision’s impact is limited to patentability of inventions requiring the destruction of embryos or the use of cells derived as a consequence to the destruction of an embryo,” said Gary Rabin, chairman and CEO of ACT. “The Court appears to have clearly focused its decision on those processes relying on now dated traditional and destructive methods for generating embryonic stem cells from the inner cell mass of embryos, yet seems to provide for a continuing basis for patentability of process of generating human embryonic stem cells and products derived from those cells where non-destructive techniques can be used. ACT holds a unique position in the regenerative medicine field, having proprietary non-destructive means for generating human embryonic stem cell lines that not only should be patentable in view of this current European decision, but which have been validated for use in clinical trials in both the U.S. and Europe. It is our intention that each of our approved commercial products will ultimately be manufactured from stem cell lines generated without destruction of embryos.”

In its own press release today on the ruling, Greenpeace stated “the decision will affect stem cell research only partially, as in recent years, researchers have found several alternative methods for obtaining stem cells, without the need to destroy human embryos.”

“This is a huge setback for stem cell research in Europe,” said Robert Lanza, M.D., ACT’s chief scientific officer. “However, the Court went out of its way to stress that inventions are unpatentable if they ‘necessitate’ the destruction of human embryos. Therefore, this ruling does not appear to affect our single-blastomere technology, which does not require the destruction of embryos at any point. We will do whatever we can to ensure that therapies derived using these stem cells are made available to the patients in Europe who need them.”

Earlier this year, ACT announced a collaboration with Roslin Cells LTD (Scotland) for the establishment of a bank of embryonic stem cells using ACT’s non-destructive technology. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will work together to establish a bank of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-grade human embryonic stem cell lines using ACT’s proprietary “single-cell blastomere” technique for deriving hESC lines without destroying embryos. Stem cell lines from the resulting bank will be made available for both research and commercial purposes.

About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., is a biotechnology company applying cellular technology in the field of regenerative medicine. For more information, visit www.advancedcell.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements in this news release regarding future financial and operating results, future growth in research and development programs, potential applications of our technology, opportunities for the company and any other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words “will,” “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,” and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: limited operating history, need for future capital, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, protection of our intellectual property, and economic conditions generally. Additional information on potential factors that could affect our results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the company’s periodic reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company’s management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company’s management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change. There can be no assurance that the Company’s clinical trials will be successful.

Contact:

Investors:
CEOcast, Inc., James Young, 212-732-4300

Press:
ACT Corporate Communications, Bill Douglass, 646-450-3615
or:
Russo Partners, Martina Schwarzkopf, Ph.D., 212-845-4292

Press Contact


Bill Douglass
646-450-3615

Download PDF


european-ruling-may-not-impact-stem-cell-lines-derived-using-advanced-cell-technologys-single-blastomere-method.pdf

To view PDF Files, you must have Acrobat Reader.

Download Adobe Acrobat