Archive by category | Policy

Stanford conference: stem cells, the new NIH, and delimiting embryo research

Students from the law and medical schools at Stanford University brought together an impressive group of world-class experts last week to discuss stem cell policy. I’ll describe some (very select) highlights over the next few blogs. Check the site for the Stanford Journal of Law Science & Policy over the next few weeks for powerpoints presentations and audiorecordings.  Read more

Stanford conference: patient-heroes of clinical research

“When you think you have a policy, you’re too late.” That’s the opinion of Pearl O’Rourke, who directs human research affairs at Partner Healthcare Systems She was referring to the pace of research in the stem cell field and the need to fashion policies to protect subjects. Embryonic stem cell research oversight committees are becoming too much of a catchall, she worries.  Read more

Stanford conference: Geron’s 345 patents and reasons for stem cell intellectual property

Perhaps more confusing than making and using stem cells are the intellectual property rules governing such use. In addition to the licenses his company has attained from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, David Earp, patent counsel for Geron, said that his company had filed more than 300 patents covering a variety of areas: undifferentiated cells; differentiated cells; methods to scale, differentiate and process cells; and ways to grow cells without blood products and feeder layers.  Read more

Stem cell vetting raises concerns, confusion

After years hearing scientists complain that the U.S. federal government funded research on too few human embryonic stem cell lines, Lana Skirboll, who directs the Office of Science Policy at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has something to tell the stem cell community: “the ball is in their court.” The NIH announced on Monday that it would be accepting applications to determine whether a line is eligible for funding. The process is not without risks: some scientists are quietly concerned that their informed consent procedures could come under criticism, or that they could lose access to non-federal sources of funding if the lines they wish to work with aren’t cleared by the NIH.  Read more

NIH chief’s first day: stem cell registry “high priority” but no ETA

Francis Collins, the new director of the US National Institutes of Health, says that he had no timetable for when the NIH will re-establish a registry listing human embryonic stem cell lines eligible for human research funding. He did, however, say that the registry would be a “very high priority.”  … Read more