ACTC.OB commented today on the 8/23/10 federal court ruling, temporarily blocking federal funding for embryonic stem cell research involving the destruction of embryos. ACT believes that this will add to the pressure on the NIH to find appropriate sources of human ES cells that can be funded in the context of this … preliminary injunction.
- It is notable, then, that ACT’s proprietary “embryo-safe” Single Blastomere technique for deriving human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), as documented in Nature and CELL Stem Cell magazines and elsewhere, does not require destruction of the embryo and as a consequence may not be directly affected by this ruling,
- ACT does not rely on government funding for any of its research or product development,
- Accordingly, there is no current impact on ACT’s business.
“We think this court ruling is extremely unfortunate for the overall stem cell industry,” stated William M. Caldwell IV, Chairman and CEO of ACT. “However, we have anticipated this development for some time, and are prepared for it. We have met with a number of members of Congress over the summer with exactly this issue on our agenda, and we are confident that legislative initiatives designed to address this ruling are already underway.
We believe that ACT is well positioned regardless of this ruling, as the court’s pronouncement on what constitutes embryonic stem cell research that cannot be federally funded does NOT include ES cells derived by ACT’s Blastomere technology as those cells can be generated without destruction of the embryo.
- While it is too early to say with certainty, ACT anticipates that its proprietary technique may fall outside the scope of this ruling,
- In addition, ACT’s Phase I/II trial using hESCs to treat Stargardt’s disease is already fully-funded, so is not affected by this ruling.
Mr. Caldwell continued, “In the meantime, we will continue to work with the NIH in order to gain approval for our embryonic stem cell lines derived using our embryo-safe Single Blastomere technology. If we are successful with the NIH to this end, we will endeavor to make approved hESCs available to the research community as a means to continue this important research, particularly in light of this court ruling.”