Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Singapore's ESI halting work on human embryonic stem cell therapies

The journal Science reported in the 20 July issue (317 Science 305):

In a sign that hopes for quick medical benefits from stem cells are fading, ES Cell International (ESI)--a company established with much fanfare in Singapore 7 years ago--is halting work on human embryonic stem (hES) cell therapies. Investors lost interest because "the likelihood of having products in the clinic in the short term was vanishingly small," says Alan Colman, a stem cell pioneer who until last month was ESI's chief executive.

Elsewhere in the article: "ESI's setback need not cast a pall on the field...Alan Trounson, a Monash University stem cell scientist says he is "profoundly disappointed." Irving Weissman is quoted: "ES cell research is, for the most part, still scientific discovery research."

Colman is quoted to admitting to a "tinge of disappointment that the field is moving more slowly than I had hoped."


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