By Ann Roberts Brice, Life Science Leader magazine
Some countries in Europe and elsewhere are looking ahead for opportunities that might emerge from the recent public policy change in the United States that allows federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Industry experts expect the stem cell industry to flourish in the favorable environment they see developing.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) set July 7 as its target date for finalizing its Draft Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research, although no major changes are anticipated.
The draft was released for public comment after the President issued an order in March that reversed a prior ban restricting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
The guidelines discuss acceptable use of stem cells derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for reproductive purposes and no longer needed for those purposes. According to the NIH, the guidelines will try to ensure that such use is “ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and in accord with applicable law.” The guidelines also describe the conditions and informed consent procedures required during the derivation of such embryonic stem cells.