Stem Cell Research Legislation

Research involving embryonal stem cells is regulated in Switzerland by the Stem Cell Research Act (StRA). This stipulates the conditions under which stem cells may be obtained and used in research.  

The Federal Act of 19 December 2003 on Research Involving Embryonic Stem Cells (Stem Cell Research Act, StRA) came into force on 1 March 2005.

The Ordinance on Research involving Embryonic Stem Cells (Stem Cell Research Ordinance, SCRO) was amended and adopted by the Federal Council on 7 June 2024. The amendments enter into force on 1 November 2024. The amendments are purely editorial changes that are not expected to have any impact on researchers. Further information is available at Current legislative project: Revision of Ordinances. At the same time as adopting the partial revision of the SCRO, the Federal Council instructed the FDHA to revise the Stem Cell Research Act (StRA) and submit a draft bill to it by the end of 2026.

The StRA makes it legal in Switzerland to obtain, under certain conditions, stem cells from "surplus" human embryos for research purposes. It also permits the import of embryonic stem cell lines from abroad for research purposes.

Further information

Research Projects and Stem Cell Lines

The FOPH informs interested members of the public and scientists about research involving human embryonal stem cells in Switzerland by providing an overview of research projects.

Projects with hESC lines available in Switzerland

Research with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) available in Switzerland is subject to strict rules. Here you will find an overview of the relevant requirements, responsibilities and procedures, and information on final reports.

Last modification 07.06.2024

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
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