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    Federal Appeals Court Ruling Favors NIH, Lifts hESC Injunction

    Date: May 13, 2011

    The preliminary injunction blocking federal funding of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research was lifted in a 2-1 decision by the Federal Appeals court on April 29th, allowing NIH funding for such studies to resume.

    The decision was reached based on the majority’s conclusion that the plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed due to the ambiguity of Dickey-Wicker and ruled that the balance of harms is in favor of the NIH, as a preliminary injunction would impose “certain and substantial” harms on ESC researchers which would preclude NIH from funding new projects, sustaining current projects, or retaining the services of various researches and employees.  The majority likewise concluded that the invalidation of the NIH stem cell guidelines would not necessarily result in more grant money for the plaintiffs.

    A trial on the merits of the case is still possible pending further appeals.

    The opinion is available here:  http://tinyurl.com/3uzokjo.