Judges Allow Stem Cell Research to Continue – For Now

Tuesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel, which allows federally-funded human embryonic stem cell research to continue while an injunction is appealed, again clears the way for the National Institutes of Health to resume hESC research.

In the original case, plaintiffs and adult stem cell researchers Theresa Dreisher, PhD, and James Sherley, MD, PhD, sought court relief for, among other things, what they believed to be a lack of enforcement of the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment. Judge Royce C. Lamberth, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, agreed. Federally-funded hESC research was shut down in late August.

The Department of Justice appealed the ruling, and a three-judge panel heard the oral arguments on Monday. A day later, they lifted the injunction until the case is resolved.

The court has said it will expedite the case, but the Los Angeles Times reports that it could take a year or longer before a final decision is issued.

For now, however, NIH funds for hESC research will continue.

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