For only the second time in history, the U.S. government has approved funding and treatment using human embryonic stem cells (hESC). This treatment will focus on those suffering from Stargardt disease, a rare eye disease affecting only 30,000 Americans that can cause serious vision loss and blindness. Currently, there is no proven treatment for this hereditary disease. The hope is that if treatment with embryonic stem cells works, and that is a big “if,” then the treatment can be applied to those with more common eye problems such as macular degeneration, which affects millions of people.
Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), based in Massachusetts, is doing the study which is being funded in part by ObamaCare. They received a one million dollar grant from the government in early November for their work in destroying Life.
The study will begin early next year with 12 patients who will receive injections directly into the eye, with increasing doses of cells on successful patients.
“We’ve tested these cells in animal models of eye disease. In rats, we’ve seen 100 percent improvement in visual performance over untreated animals without any adverse effects,” said Dr. Robert Lanza, ACT’s Chief Scientific Officer. “We hope to see a similar benefit in patients with various forms of macular degeneration.” Lanza also said that they hope to see results within 6 weeks of beginning treatment.
However, not everyone is convinced that the treatment will work. “Of course, one big concern regarding safety is the distinct possibility of tumor formation by embryonic stem cells, since that is their real forte,” Dr. David Prentice, a member of the Family Research Council, said. “No details are available on whether ACT did large animal studies, purity of their experimental cell preparation, or how well the cells retain differentiation versus growing.”
ACT may also make a huge profit from this study and its hESC therapy. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration agreed that they will have “Orphan Drug” designation. Under the law, companies that develop a drug or treatment for a disease affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. may sell the drug without competition for seven years. It also means access to tax credits and grants in a global market representing an estimated $25 billion dollars in revenue if hESC therapy proves successful.
We must stop this continuing research using human embryonic stem cells. Life is being destroyed through this process and the treatments have thus far yielded little benefit. Adult stem cells have produced dozens of advantages and treatments that actually work.