ES Cell International (ESI) opened in Singapore seven years ago to draw scientists in hopes of establishing itself as a biomedical hub. Alan Colman, a stem cell pioneer who helped clone 'Dolly the sheep', and former chief executive of ESI halted research on human embryonic stem cell therapies because of lack of interest on the part of investors. "The likelihood of having products in the clinic in the short term was vanishingly small," said Alan Colman. Robert Lanza, vice president for R&D at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Massachusetts said, "What the field badly needs is one or two success stories."
While investors are pulling out of hESC research, successful therapies are happening as we speak using adult stem cells. Policy makers who spend taxpayers' money should expect a return on their investment. Time is money and it is better spent on substantiated, undisputed ethical lines of research - namely, non-embryonic stem cells.
For more information:
Science, July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5836, p. 305