Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Compare and Contrast: ASCR vs. ESCR

Dr. Alan Moy, CEO of Celluar Engineering Technologies, a company specializing in Adult Stem Cell research, treatments, and therapies, sat down for an interview to discuss his company, and the intricacies of Adult Stem Cell research vs. embryonic stem cell research. Some highlights:
Adult stem cell research is not conducted by many scientists because scientists do not have access to adult stem cells because it requires significant resources (recruiting patients, collect tissues, storage, processing and growing stem cells). This is a daunting task which is a barrier for scientists. So CET provides that work so that scientists can work on adult stem cell research.

Adult stem cells offer these advantages: no ethical controversy, none to minimal risk of immune rejection, and reduced cost and time to harvest and grow up an initial stem cell line from adult tissue than from embryonic sources.

It's a big leap for embryonic scientists to promise that embryonic stem cells will lead to cures. There are too many scientific, ethical and business hurdles that have to be overcome for embryonic stem cells to be considered a therapy that will be adopted by industry. You have to clone to overcome rejection and cloning has never been accomplished in humans or primates. In addition, you have to overcome to tumour formation.

The bottom line is that they are over-excited by a behaviour observed in a Petri dish, and several more steps have to be proven before embryonic stem cells can be considered promising.

Embryonic stem cells are not well designed for large scale production, unlike adult stem cells -- so there are significant cost and manufacturing constraints. There are major ethical hurdles that prevent them from being adopted by the public. If you somehow could clone and eliminate the tumour risk, 70 per cent of the public is against cloning. This restricts the market for such companies to jump into such commercial activities. Finally, cloning is not a solution for treating a genetic disorder like juvenile diabetes.
Read the whole thing here.


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