Theresa “Tracy” Deisher may be best known for her recent contributions to the embryonic stem cell funding halt but her participation in the controversial topic is only 1 of many ways she has melded her pro-life beliefs with her extensive background in biotech.
- 11 months ago, Deisher created Ave Maria Biotechnology, a pro-life-based biotech company, which is now worth around $1 M.
Many vaccines, including childhood measles/mumps/rubella (NYSE:MMR) and chickenpox, are created using cell lines from aborted fetuses; the vaccine lineage leads many pro-life parents to reject vaccinating their children.
- According to Deisher, up to 1/10 of all children are not vaccinated due to these concerns;
- The former ZymoGenetics Immunex and Amgen employee decided to take a stand; using her own money and donated time from a young staff, she built up Ave Maria and received 2 $500 K grants from MJ Murdock Charitable Trust to gain commercial rights to animal-based vaccines previously created by Merck;
- The MMR vaccines have been cleared by the FDA, but Merck (NYSE:MRK) has not marketed them due to their low profit margins, a non-issue for Deisher. (HWM and E Trichert, Xconomy)