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  1. #1
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    Stem Cell Research...leaving US behind

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050826/...re_stemcell_dc


    SINGAPORE (Reuters) - South Korea stole headlines after creating the world's first cloned dog, but the tiny city-state of Singapore is quietly preparing to take the fruits of its stem cell research straight to the market.

    Steven Fang, chief executive of Singapore-based CyGenics AX> , said more Singapore-based firms are taking the greenfield research of U.S. and Korean scientists and turning it into marketable technology safe for human use.

    CyGenics develops and markets adult stem-cell related products, services and technologies.

    "Stem cell development needs to be turned into a mature technology that is of meaningful use to humans," said Fang, at the company's blood bank, where umbilical cord blood is frozen for possible future use in the fight against lymphoma, anemia and bone marrow cancer.

    "We are trying to make the stem cell technology safe for humans to use."

    In 2002, a Singapore boy suffering from leukemia was treated with stem cells from his baby sister, whose parents had stored blood from her umbilical cord at the company's storage facility, CordLife. The boy is now in remission.

    Researchers believe that stem cells could one day be used to provide individually tailored tissue and organ transplants, or repair spinal cord injuries.

    When asked whether Asia was leading the stem cell research race, Fang said: "To a great extent, yes. Asia got a head start."

    Researchers in Asia got a boost in funding after the Bush administration sought restrictions on government support for stem-cell research in the United States.

    "But in practical terms, the U.S. can catch up," said Fang, who is also the chairman of BioSingapore, an association that represents biomedical enterprises.

    Singapore has promoted the biomedical sector with grants, tax incentives and the 2003 opening of a S$300 million biotech park. The grants have attracted foreign experts like Alan Colman, who was part of the team that created Dolly the sheep in Scotland.

    Federal funding for work with stem cells taken from human embryos is limited in the U.S., due mainly to ethical reasons, though researchers can use private money as they wish.

    CyGenics, founded in 2004, does not conduct embryonic stem cell research, though Singapore laws allow for therapeutic, not reproductive, cloning.

    READY TO MULTIPLY

    The loss-making firm now has more than 3,000 clients in Singapore and receives requests from around the world for its storage services. In March, it launched a new facility in Hong Kong aimed at the North Asia market and the company said it is already taking in a large volume of clients.

    Fang said the company makes money from its cord blood bank but is spending heavily on research and development. It expects its cell sciences business, which manufactures, markets and distributes biomedical products to break even this year.

    CyGenics wants to multiply.

    "We see a need to be global, to have a global footprint," Fang said. "We want to expand our facility base."

    Executives want to set up facilities in China, but also sees the country as one of the toughest markets to break into because of regulatory issues.

    Fang sees Asia and Europe as holding the greatest potential for expansion as the U.S. is already a very mature market.

    "Growing organically is very important, but joint-ventures or mergers and acquisitions are equally important. We are eyeing deals in the U.S., Australia and Asia," he said.

    India, China, Australia, Britain and Scandinavia were near-term targets for expansion, he said. CyGenics has two labs in the U.S., where it has a S$2.9 million contract with the Department of Defense to test vaccines against biological agents like anthrax.


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Stem Cell Research...leaving US behind

    I'm a Republican, and I support most of the issues on the Republican platform. However, stem cell is not one of them. I wish we would open up stem cell research in the U.S. I am very much Pro-Life and unfortunately the two very separate issues of stem cell research and abortion have become zippered together. I wish those with decision making powers would see the distinction between these two and bring it to light. I think Dr. Bill Frist is starting to do just that, but the conservative policy makers need to see that stem cells are not harvested exclusively from unborn babies.

    The U.S. has to take the lead in this relatively new area of research and maximize the life saving and life changing potential it contains.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Stem Cell Research...leaving US behind

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    I'm a Republican, and I support most of the issues on the Republican platform. However, stem cell is not one of them. I wish we would open up stem cell research in the U.S. I am very much Pro-Life and unfortunately the two very separate issues of stem cell research and abortion have become zippered together. I wish those with decision making powers would see the distinction between these two and bring it to light. I think Dr. Bill Frist is starting to do just that, but the conservative policy makers need to see that stem cells are not harvested exclusively from unborn babies.

    The U.S. has to take the lead in this relatively new area of research and maximize the life saving and life changing potential it contains.
    I agree in part.There has also been great strides in adult stem cell reseach HU.But because the Press is pro abortion you wont hear about it.
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

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    Re: Stem Cell Research...leaving US behind

    I am not very politically minded, but I see the stall in stem cell research as very short minded. We are getting left behind in something that we should want to be involved in.

    I have a neighbor who is in a wheelchair. A young guy, who dove into a shallow body of water and broke his back. We have been talking lately and he is a good guy, very full of life. All he wants to talk about is riding motorcycles, going to the race track, riding in rolling thunder, and what is new with my mustang. I felt bad being some sort of reminder of his past, but it seems to have done him good to remember who he was. He is a risk taker and I shake my head at him running the dog with the wheelchair. He is going fall over some day and he doesn't care.

    Anyway, he is very excited about stem cell research and he says that he should be able to walk again once they get the stuff approved. I hope the US gets on the ball with this area and leaves it out of the political arena.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
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    Re: Stem Cell Research...leaving US behind

    I will probably surprise a lot of you by saying I am very conservative (even though I think bush is the AntiChrist), I don't believe in abortion, but I do want to see progress from stem cell research. Research using umbilical cord blood is what needs to be done. I had a son born with several problems. He died 3 1/2 months later. That was in 1982. Research has come a long way since then, and although the cause of his disabilities has not been conquered, stem cell research has shown promise for thousands of kids who have been born with the same disabilities. Other research has shown promise in reducing deaths caused by SIDS.
    Hopefully, someday soon, a parent hearing that thier child was born with Spina Bifida will not have to suffer knowing that thier child will never be able to run, play, or do other things that "normal" kids can do or be condemned to a shortened life, but instead have hope that stem cell research can improve the quality of thier child's life, allowing the kid to play, grow, and become an adult who experiences life the way other children do.
    I'm 100% for stem cell research as long as it does not involve abortion in any way.

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