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SKorean university to stop seeking cloning patent

SKorean university to stop seeking cloning patent

A prestigious Seoul university said Tuesday it is no longer seeking foreign patents on technology developed by a scientist who used fake data to claim breakthroughs in cloning human embryos.
Hwang Woo-suk and his former colleagues at Seoul National University claimed in 2004 to have produced a human embryo through cloning _ and to have recovered stem cells from it. A year later, Hwang said the team created human embryonic stem cells genetically matched to specific patients _ a purported breakthrough that promised a way to withstand rejection by a patient's immune system.
But a university committee later declared the 2005 paper a fraud based on faked data, and cast doubt on his 2004 paper. He was fired from Seoul National University in 2006.
The school, however, later applied for patents in 11 foreign countries, including the United States and Australia, saying Hwang's work still contained valid new technologies.
On Tuesday, the university said in a statement it would not pursue the foreign patents because it would cost too much to register them. It also said some countries would have restricted its patents, adding that China and Canada have questioned Hwang's work, citing its lack of feasibility.
The university said it may transfer the technology to a domestic research institute or company to avoid the leak of the technologies to foreign countries.
Scientists say stem cells are key to developing cures to some diseases but are difficult to produce.


Updated : 2021-06-22 04:29 GMT+08:00