Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are genetically stable with unlimited expansion ability and unrestricted plasticity, proffering a pluripotent reservoir for in vitro derivation of a large supply of disease-targeted human somatic cells that are restricted to the lineage in need of repair. There is a large healthcare need to develop hESC-based therapeutic solutions to provide optimal regeneration and reconstruction treatment options for the damaged or lost tissue or organ that have been lacking. In spite of controversy surrounding the ownership of hESCs, the number of patent applications related to hESCs is growing rapidly. This review gives an overview of different patent applications on technologies of derivation, maintenance, differentiation, and manipulation of hESCs for therapies. Many of the published patent applications have been based on previously established methods in the animal systems and multi-lineage inclination of pluripotent cells through spontaneous germ-layer differentiation. Innovative human stem cell technologies that are safe and effective for human tissue and organ regeneration in the clinical setting remain to be developed. Our overall view on the current patent situation of hESC technologies suggests a trend towards hESC patent filings on novel therapeutic strategies of direct control and modulation of hESC pluripotent fate, particularly in a 3-dimensional context, when deriving clinicallyrelevant lineages for regenerative therapies.
Keywords: Human embryo, human embryonic stem cell patent, derivation, differentiation, cell culture, human embryonic stem cell, human pluripotent stem cell, human neural stem, progenitor, precursor cell, human somatic stem cell, human stem cell, pluripotence, multipotence, neuron, oligodendrocyte, retinal pigment epithelium cell, cardiomyocyte, endoderm cell, pancreatic cell, hematopoietic cell, hepatocyte, connective tissue progenitor, osteoblast and chondrocyte precursor, mesenchymal stem cell, cell therapy, regenerative medicine
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport