Geron Move Shows Embryonic Stem Cell Research Not Successful

Bioethics   |   Mailee Smith   |   Nov 15, 2011   |   4:46PM   |   Washington, DC

USA Today is reporting today that Geron—the company that received the first government approval for human clinical trials using human embryo stem cells—is discontinuing “further stem cell work.”

This decision hardly comes as a surprise.  There simply is no money in research that yields no results.

Geron says that the decision came “after a strategic review of the costs… timelines and clinical, manufacturing and regulatory complexities associated with the company’s research and clinical-stage assets.”  Reportedly, Geron has been trying to find financial partners, “and people have said, ‘Show us later-stage results.’”

Clearly, investors don’t want to put money into research that will not pay off.  There are no “later-stage results” showing any real-life positive uses of embryonic stem cells.

USA Today editorializes that Geron’s decision is “a move with stark implications for a field offering hope of future medications for conditions with inadequate or no current treatments.”

We can hope it is the bell toll for unethical and unproductive embryo stem cell research.  But it will not have a devastating impact on the field of “stem cell research” as a whole.

As AUL has stated repeatedly, stem cells from human embryos have never successfully treated human patients.  On the other hand, treatments from adult stem cells (which do not result in the destruction of human life) have yielded treatments or cures for over 70 conditions.

Apparently, Geron’s investors (or potential investors) understand this basic fact.  Investing in a failed research strategy does not pay—either financially or medically.  Unfortunately, the Obama Administration lacks this basic understanding, as it continues to push for government funding of embryo research to the detriment of research rendering true medical advances. Note: Mailee Smith is an attorney for Americans United for Life, a pro-life legal group that focuses on national and state legislative matters.