Monday, May 08, 2006

ACT Reports its Cloning Efforts

Advanced Cell Technology today issued a press release on its plans to attempt to clone human embryos and identified members of its Institutional Review Board.

The firm said:"The IRB is chaired by Judith A. Frazier, RN, M.Ed. Ms. Frazier is the Manager of the Metabolic Research Unit at the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University. The Metabolic Research Unit recruits approximately 3,000 adult subjects every year for population, longitudinal, metabolic and free-living nutrition studies. She is also a Vice-Chair of the Tufts-University-New England Medical Center Institutional Review Board. Renee Landers, J.D., serves as Vice-Chair. Ms. Landers is an Associate Professor of Law at the Suffolk University Law School where she focused on Health Law and Administrative Law. The IRB recently held several meetings and has approved the Company’s SCNT program.

"The IRB carefully reviewed the Company’s plan to solicit volunteer donors of embryos and oocytes for the SCNT program. In accordance with California and Massachusetts law and the guidelines set out by the National Academy of Sciences, such volunteer donors will receive no compensation other than the reimbursement of certain permitted expenses and will be required to acknowledge and execute a detailed donor consent form. The Company recognizes that the progress of this program is dependent upon identifying volunteer donors and hopes that the public will recognize the promise of this research for millions of patients and respond accordingly."

1 comment:

  1. As a bit of a flashback, from the
    CNN Archives for 2001:

    In its statement on the human-embryo research -- results of which were published in the Journal of Regenerative Medicine -- the company's vice president of medical and scientific development, Dr. Robert P. Lanza, foresaw criticism and said: "Our intention is not to create cloned human beings, but rather to make lifesaving therapies for a wide range of human disease conditions, including diabetes, strokes, cancer, AIDS and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.”

    Of an ethics panel in 2001:

    ACT's board structure includes an Ethics Advisory Board. Among its members are Ronald Green, a professor of religion and director of Dartmouth College's Ethics Institute; Dr. Kenneth Goodman, who directs the University of Miami's Bioethics Program; and Carol Tauer, senior scholar with the Minnesota Center for Health Care Ethics.

    And, something to think about in FUTURE patent issues based on what happened to ACT in the past (from Lawrence B. Ebert, 88 JPTOS 239 (March 2006)):

    There were patents on the work related to Dolly. These cloning patents, which relate to the specific way the clones are created from dormant cells, were filed in August 1995 and preceded the publication of the
    research papers describing the techniques used to create Dolly and other cloned sheep. There was a splitting up of intellectual property rights related to the work on Dolly. PPL obtained certain specific rights (e.g., a license to use the technology to create pharmaceuticals in the milk of animals), and Roslin Bio-Med, a joint venture of the Roslin Institute and 3i, obtained those rights to nuclear transfer not already licensed to PPL.

    In 2002, Roslin Bio-Med and Geron, on one side, were fighting a patent interference with PPL and Advanced Cell Technology [ACT] on the other side. ACT was the licensee of US patent 5,945,577, obtained by the University of Massachusetts, and Geron was the licensee for pending US patent application no. 09/650,194, assigned to the Roslin Institute. The interference ended badly for PPL and ACT.