LONDON (AP) — Europe’s top court says patents cannot be filed on stem-cell research using cells from human embryos, a move many scientists say will harm future advances in medicine.
In a decision issued on Tuesday, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg wrote that a process that involves taking a stem cell from a human embryo, resulting in its destruction, cannot be patented.
Using embryonic stem cells has been controversial because obtaining them sometimes involves destroying embryos, which are often donated from fertility treatments. Embryonic stem cells — which can turn into any cell in the body — are thought to be promising in developing treatments for conditions including heart disease, Parkinson’s and stroke.
Scientists denounced the decision and said researchers and companies would be less interested in pursuing stem-cell research because they would be unable to protect their inventions.