Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stem Cell Snippets: J&J, Novocell, Geron and Cha

Big Pharma and ESCDavid Hamilton has pulled together some little noticed information on Johnson & Johnson's investment in Novocell of San Diego, Ca.. "For what appears to the first time, a major drug company has plunked down a significant equity investment in embryonic stem cells," he wrote on VentureBeat. He continued, "If J&J’s investment is a sign that regenerative medicine is quickening pulses in at the big drug companies, things could get interesting. Unfortunately, that’s mostly just speculation at this point."

Stem Cell PerceptionsGreg Pesto, writing on Market Watch, reflected on public and investor perceptions in the wake of the stem cell debate in Washington. He quoted Tom Okarma, CEO of Geron, as saying, "We have given up on actively trying to change the politics. We have our heads down trying to the science." The California firm hopes to begin a clinical trial using embryonic stem cells later this year.

ChaWilliam Heisel of the Los Angeles Times has the latest on the manuvering in the Cha plagiarism case, including the Korean researcher's legal and public relations campaign. The Times also reported that the publications committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine met on Friday without coming to a public decision in the case. Sphere: Related Content


  1. Karl Bergman9:06 AM

    Regarding Big Pharma investments in stem cell technologies. We have done research on patenting, but also M&A, in stem cells and found that even though Big Pharma might not be as active in embryonic stem cell research, they certainly appear to have accumulated significant holdings in technologies based on adult stem cells or related technologies. More on this can be found in the April issue of Nature Biotechnology.

  2. David Hamilton10:35 AM

    Thanks for the mention. I should note, though, that I later updated the Novocell item to clarify that J&J has been invested in the company since at least 2005. At the very least, though, J&J is making a significant additional investment in an embryonic stem-cell company, which near as I can tell is still unique among the Big Pharmas.