Tuesday, December 23, 2008


As well as their potential for creating effective therapies for debilitating diseases, embryonic stem cells could open the door to improved pharmaceutical drug testing, according to a leading British stem cell researcher.

Speaking at a recent meeting of the British Pharmacological Society in Brighton, UK, Christine Mummery described how using embryonic stem cells to create human heart cells could be a viable and scientifically exciting alternative to animal testing.

...before new drugs can go forward for clinical trials, it's necessary for the chemical compounds which make up a drug to undergo thousands of tests for toxicity before beginning trials on animals -- initially on rodents and then often on dogs.

It's here, at this ethically sensitive stage, that Professor Mummery believes stem cell research could transform drug development.

...stem cell based drug testing is already being promoted in the UK with the public/private initiative "Stem Cells for Safer Medicine" which was set up in 2007.

It's something Mummery hopes will be replicated in other countries and particularly in the U.S. under President-elect Obama who is a proponent of stem cell research. (full article)

No comments: