In a recent article on Bloomberg.com, Dr. Mina Alikani of Reprogenetics and Tyho-Galileo Research Labs comments on the process of embryonic stem-cell line approval. According to the article, in June alone, 37 stem cell lines were approved by the NIH for tax-payer funded research. Three of these approved lines were derived at Reprogenetics. This brings the national total to 128 U.S. endorsed lines.
Despite the surge in approvals, Dr. Alikani comments on the still-politicized nature of embryonic stem cells and how it seeps into the approval process. “Down the line, they may have to deal with some kind of a congressional committee coming down to check to see what they did, what the approval process entailed and how well they screened everybody, and how well they stuck to the guidelines,” cautions Alikani.
While clinical applications derived from embryonic stem cells may not be immediately made available, we are hopeful that an increase in federally-approved stem-cell lines, and funding towards research on these cells, will help bring life-changing therapies to the patients who need them.