Apparently they are according to U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Legally establishing stem cells as drugs may be good news for academic drug discovery. This is an area where academics have extensive experience while big pharma does not. While engineered stem cells will no doubt need to go through the equivalent stringent safety testing as conventional drugs, the approaches and technologies used may be more consistent with contemporary academic biomedical research labs than the rather sterile pre-clinical toxicology studies used for drugs. Thus maybe another boost for academic drug discovery centers.