US-paid research on stem cells proposed

stem-cellsTo work with cells obtained from early human egg, the National Institutes of Health will enable university researchers by financing their work.

This step comes following a request filed by a company Advanced Cell Technology with Food and Drug Administration to test treatment for an eye disease called macular degeneration. This move would benefit academic researchers also. This test would be the first clinical test of embryonic stem cells if gets an approval.

Most human embryonic stem cell lines are generated from the blastocystan embryonic stage reached five days after fertilization.

Congress forbids government-financed researchers to generate such cell lines because the blastocyst gets destroyed. Blastocyst is an embryonic stage reached five days after fertilization. President George W. Bush, however had allowed to work on lines already in existence in August 2001.

Researchers were annoyed being put under these limits because private money was needed to derive new lines. President Obama In December said that federally supported researchers could use many of these privately derived cell lines in their research.

The N. I. H. has proposed to add the cells generated after the fertilized egg’s first few divisions.

Dr Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer of Advanced Cell Technology, said, “The company hopes to start clinical trials this year in which blastomere-derived cells will be used to treat macular degeneration.”

It was reported that to treat spinal cord injury, Geron, another company, received F. D. A. approval for a clinical trial to test human embryonic stem cells, but the trial has been postponed.