Local firm developing adult stem cell treatments

The Courier (Montgomery County) has a story about a biopharmaceutical firm in The Woodlands that is developing treatments for heart disease and diabetes from adult stem cells:

PharmaFrontiers has an exclusive contract to develop stem cells that are created from monocyte white blood cells taken from adult blood donations, according to company founder Warren Lau.

[snip]

Stem cell treatment for diabetes and heart failure should be commercially available in five to six years, company CEO Dave McWilliams said.

"The technology actually allows us to change the cells to stem cells and then change them into any type of cell we want," he said. "This type of stem cell research hasn't been widely publicized."

[snip]

PharmaFrontiers chose to develop its license by studying effects on late-stage heart failure and diabetes for several reasons, McWilliams said.

One reason is because of the number of people who have the conditions. The other is because of ongoing studies using stem cells from bone marrow that have shown success in repairing heart tissue and another study in which the cells are used to get the body to begin producing insulin again, he said.

Adult stem cell research is showing tremendous promise in spite of the media's unwillingness to give it the publicity it deserves. The media is invested in embryonic stem cell research, which, aside from very serious ethical concerns, has shown little promise for all the hype it receives.

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 12/27/04 09:05 AM | Print |

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