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Leif
07-28-2006, 09:39 AM
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/008200607281540.htm



Firm claims it has created human embryonic stem cell lines


Singapore, July 28 (AP): A Singapore biotech company has produced and stored four new human embryonic stem cell lines and expects to store another four in the next five weeks.

ES Cell International said it was the first to create human embryonic stem cells (hESC) designed for clinical use, and said the lines would be available to researchers worldwide by the end of the year, according to a statement issued yesterday.

"We are very excited about this development, which has tremendous implications for the research with hESCs as a source of new cell therapies in the future," ESI CEO Alan Colman said.

The announcement comes amid a debate in the United States over the need for new human embryonic stem cell lines for research. Last week, US President George W. Bush vetoed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, following up on a 2001 vow to limit funds already in existence.

Also last week, the European Union voted to continue funding embryonic human stem cell research through 2013, but only under new rules that prevent human cloning and destroying embryos.

ESI's new lines are believed to be safe for clinical use in humans because they were created without the use of mouse feeder cells, which were used in most already-existing lines. The ESI lines were derived from blastocyst embryos stored by a Sydney, Australia, in-vitro fertilization clinic and donated with "full informed consent," the statement said.