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From the Anguish of the Stem Cell Controversy

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)