According to The Wall Street Journal, StemCells, Inc announced its acquisition of a portfolio of U.S. and Canadian patents. Previously, the company had held an exclusive worldwide license to the patents in question. Broadly considered, the portfolio covers technologies for the manufacture and proliferation of purified populations of human neural stem cells, as well as their therapeutic and drug discovery uses.
Originally, these patents came from the research of Samuel Weiss, Ph.D. and Brent Reynolds, Ph.D. while they were working at the University of Calgary. StemCells, Inc will contribute 139,548 shares of stock to Neurospheres Holdings Ltd., an intellectual property holding company associated with the university, in consideration of this fact.
"These Weiss and Reynolds patents have been recognized time and time again as the seminal intellectual property pertaining to purified populations of human neural stem cells," said Martin McGlynn, president and CEO of StemCells, Inc.
This acquisition will relieve the company of royalty obligations under the previous licensing agreements, and will allow it to challenge a competitor, Neuralstem, Inc., for patent infringement under six of these patents. The company has filed a suit, and Neuralstem, Inc. asked for four of the six patents to be reexamined. All four passed reexamination and were found to be valid, and the suit will continue.