Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chinese Cloning Firm Pumps $15 Million into California Stem Cell Business

A Chinese firm that says it has the technology to clone human beings has invested $15 million in a stem cell company in Northern California.

The American firm is Cesca Therapeutics of Rancho Cordova, a suburb of Sacramento. The Chinese enterprise is BoyaLife Group, which has plans to clone one million cattle a year by 2020. In December, Rebecca Davis of Agence France-Press interviewed Xu Xiaochun, CEO of BoyaLife, and wrote:
“The Chinese scientist behind the world's biggest cloning factory has technology advanced enough to replicate humans, he told AFP, and is only holding off for fear of the public reaction.”
BoyaLife has a South Korean partner, Sooam, which was founded by Hwang Woo-Suk, the researcher who generated a global scandal in 2005 by falsly claiming to have cloned a human embryo. Sooam is involved currently in cloning pet dogs at $100,000 a pop, according to AFP.

Last year, Cesca lost a bid for $11 million from the California stem cell agency. The president of the firm, Robin C. Stracey, told this writer at the time that it expected to partner with another enterprise rather than try again for California stem cell agency funding.

The company’s application to the state research agency sought funds for a phase three clinical trial for a process to treat critical limb ischemia, which can lead to the loss of limbs.

Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee reported today that financially strapped Cesca could be taken over by BoyaLife. He reported that the company said this week that BoyaLife intended “to become a majority shareholder” in Cesca.

Kasler wrote,
“However, a change in control isn’t imminent, and Cesca officials said they welcome BoyaLife’s investment as a vote of confidence in their company.”
The New York Times reported last November that BoyaLife is planning the world’s largest animal cloning center in China this year. It quoted Xu as saying,
“And I can tell you all that cloned beef is the tastiest beef I have ever had.”
It was not clear, as of this writing, what role, if any, Cesca would have in cloning animals. Sphere: Related Content

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