Scientists admit failures of embryonic stem-cell research

.- Scientists at a conference on embryonic stem-cell research in California last week admitted that there hasn’t been much progress in the controversial research and that the biotech industry is losing millions of dollars because of it, reported James Thomson, the Wisconsin biologist who was the first to isolate embryonic stem cells, admitted that embryonic stem-cell research was oversold. He said cures from this research may not be available for another 10 or 20 years.

Celgene president Alan Lewis reportedly admitted: “Many of the technologies we hyped to the general public haven't worked yet.”

As well, research investors have stated that they are not eager to fund embryonic stem-cell research because of its limited success so far and the lack of future prospects.

William Haseltine, CEO of Human Genome Sciences, is one. He says results are decades away and his company is not spending money on the unproven embryonic cells.

"The timeline to commercialization is so long that I simply would not invest," Haseltine was quoted as saying.

As a result, leading embryonic stem-cell research firms are losing money. California-based Geron invested more than $100 million into embryonic stem-cell research but lost $80 million last year.

Advanced Cell Technology in Massachusetts is also in financial problems due to embryonic stem-cell research. It was one of the first biotech firms to claim that it cloned a human embryo.


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