WASHINGTON – The Stem Cell Action Coalition, a network of 75 nonprofit disease advocacy groups, scientific societies and academic centers, applauds the researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University for their groundbreaking accomplishment of producing stem cells utilizing the process of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).

“The creation of cloned human stem cell lines is an important biomedical milestone,” said Bernard Siegel, executive director of the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) and spokesman for the Coalition. “Stem cells derived in this fashion could lead to cell therapies using a patient’s own cells and thereby avoid the problems of immune suppression. We note that one of the cloned stem cell lines was created from cells from a child afflicted with Leigh’s Disease, a rare and severe genetic disorder. In the future, researchers will create cloned cell lines from many patients burdened by other diseases. Such cell lines will be studied to determine the root causes for disease and be used to test drugs in a lab dish rather than in a person.”

“The public and media should be aware that opponents of research are exploiting this news to inflame opinion against the entire field of embryonic stem cell research, demanding unreasonable restrictions at the state, federal and international levels. Reproductive cloning of babies remains unsafe and unethical. The FDA interdicted such activity in 2001. Prohibiting reproductive cloning is where society should draw the line and not unreasonably restrict potentially lifesaving stem cell research. The research announced this week is a long anticipated and welcome breakthrough. SCNT, also called therapeutic cloning, deserves our full support.” Siegel said.

The Stem Cell Action Coalition is an initiative organized by GPI, fostering public awareness about embryonic stem cell research, promoting robust funding of basic research and translational medicine within ethically responsible and scientifically sound guidelines, and vigorously defending this research from unwarranted restrictions. The Coalition coordinates advocacy among all stakeholders.

The Coalition maintains a growing social network on Twitter @stemcellaction, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Learn more by visiting www.stemcellaction.org or call toll-free 888-238-1423.

About the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI): GPI supports stem cell research to develop therapeutics and cures. It pursues its mission through producing the annual World Stem Cell Summit, publishing the World Stem Cell Report, honoring leadership through its annual Stem Cell Action Awards, organizing educational and public awareness initiatives, and fostering strategic collaborations. In the United Nations, GPI led the successful defense of SCNT, which was under threat of being banned by world treaty.

Contact:

Genetics Policy Institute

Alan Fernandez, 888-238-1423, alan@genpol.org

Associate Director

 

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