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Regen Med. 2008 Jul;3(4):483-96. doi: 10.2217/17460751.3.4.483.

Patents, commercialization and the Canadian stem cell research community.

Author information

1
Health Law Institute, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. tcaulfld@law.ualberta.ca

Abstract

AIMS:

There has been a great deal of discussion in relevant literature on the adverse impact of commercialization agendas and the patenting regime on research in emerging fields. We sought to assess the perceived impact of these factors on the stem cell research community in Canada.

MATERIALS & METHODS:

We surveyed 283 researchers from Canada's Stem Cell Network using a survey instrument informed by relevant literature and systematic consultations with Canadian and international regulators, stem cell researchers and research ethics experts designed to identify pressing ethical, legal and social issues relevant to stem cell research. A total of 108 researchers responded to the survey.

RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicate that although many researchers believe that patents may have adverse effects on research, very few have encountered any such effects in practice. The researchers admitted to withholding data to protect patenting opportunities, while also maintaining that patents did not contribute to publication delays. The pressure to commercialize their research was largely held to be reasonable by researchers.

PMID:
18588471
DOI:
10.2217/17460751.3.4.483
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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