Rome, Italy, Aug 2, 2010 / 10:54 am
Following Friday's news that a U.S. company has been given the go ahead to experiment with embryonic stem cells on human patients, a former head of the Pontifical Academy for Life told Vatican Radio that the trials are unacceptable. He said that regardless of whether the result of testing is positive or negative, "morally it remains a crime."
Biopharmaceutical developer Geron, which has its headquarters in California, announced last Friday that it was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin testing injections of an embryonic stem cell derivative in treatments for severe spinal-cord injuries.
Geron celebrated the FDA's approval which, they said, gives them the ability to legally "move forward with the world's first clinical trial of a human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-based therapy in man."
The clearance had been blocked since last January after preliminary trials on animals resulted in the growth of small cysts in treated regions. Further testing led to the FDA's recent approval.