After decades of frustratingly slow progress, regenerative medicine is buoyed by optimism.
After decades of controversy and frustratingly slow progress, the stem cell field seems poised for breakthroughs in a range of diseases. One by one, obstacles such as tumorigenicity of embryonic stem cells and immune rejection of allogeneic transplants are giving way to focused study and innovation.
At the “World Stem Cells Regenerative Medicine Congress”, the regenerative medicine community will meet to exchange the latest news and progress in cell therapy.
Given that the firm with the most money has just quit, questions about how to succeed are rampant.
Geron, a pioneer in stem cell research founded in 1990, announced on November 14 that it was halting its stem cell therapeutics programs to conserve funds. It plans on laying off 38% of its 175-person staff and is seeking partners to take on the programs’ assets.
Geron had been developing cell products from differentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) for multiple indications. The company is viewed as the leader in stem cell therapies because of its patents on technology used to grow, manipulate, and inject stem cells into the human body. It helped finance researchers at the University of Wisconsin who first isolated human embryonic stem cells in 1998, allowing the cells to be grown in the laboratory.