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Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research Releases New White Paper, 'Catalyst for Cures: Embryonic Stem Cell Research'
Date:1/14/2009

accomplishments," said Amy Comstock Rick, president of CAMR. "We are hopeful that President-elect Obama will deliver on his campaign commitment to lift the current restrictions, and allow scientists to deliver on the promise of embryonic stem cell research."

Catalyst for Cures: Embryonic Stem Cell Research shares experts' viewpoints and assessments of embryonic stem cell research to date, and takes a bold look at where this research might lead in the coming years. Some highlights include:

"I'd be very surprised if, during the course of my scientific career, the next 20 years, we don't have much better therapies for Parkinson's disease, based on the fact that we have these hESC-derived tissues in culture," says James Thomson.

Many scientists have been studying adult stem cells and learning more about their utility and their limitations. So far, adult stem cells have only successfully been used in a very narrow area: blood system reconstitution, including bone marrow transplant, umbilical cord transplant, and peripheral blood transplant. "The argument that there are 60 to 70 diseases that can be cured with adult stem cells was never credible," says Sean Morrison, University of Michigan.

Biotech firms are revving up, focused on toxicity screening and drug development. A few are aggressively pursuing hES cell-based therapies. Big Pharma is also beginning to invest in stem cells. "Embryonic stem cells are a source of cells for predictive toxicology and drug discovery," says consultant and former Novocell executive Melissa Carpenter.

The Paper concludes that, "scientists see great promise in efforts to improve therapies for diabetes, Parkinson's disease, macular degeneration, cancer, spinal cord injuries, and heart disease. The time for removal of restrictions, expanded support, and implementation of relevant oversight guidelines is now."

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SOURCE Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research
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