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Many Promising Embryonic Stem Cell Therapies Ensnared In Legal Loophole

•, By Francie Diep

Hey, isn't it great that university scientists are working on making embryonic stem cell therapies? They've done some especially promising work in treating certain causes of blindness, including age-related macular degeneration. But now a strange but serious roadblock has come up. Because of certain federal rules, the majority of embryonic stem cell therapies being studied in universities actually aren't eligible to become sellable treatments, the journal Cell Stem Cell reports.

Universities usually do research on U.S. National Institutes of Health-registered embryonic stem cells. However, the NIH's rules don't match up with rules from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which would have to approve any embryonic stem cell-based therapy for use the U.S. So these university-created treatments technically aren't allowed to move past the research stage. What a dilemma!

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