Profitable stem cells sell

Stem cells are the future of medicine, so private investers will indeed sink money into stem cell research they believe will pay off. Witness a report in the June 27 issue of Business Week :

Doctors, patients, and quite a few investors are counting on ViaCell to unlock the therapeutic promise of umbilical cord stem cells. These have been used, on a small scale, to treat more than 30 different diseases. Now ViaCell would like to make such cells available on a much larger scale. Backed by a $20 million partnership with biotech giant Amgen Inc., it has launched clinical trials to test whether doctors could use its specially-prepared cells in transplant procedures, instead of bone marrow. And a big boost could come from Washington, which is weighing laws to fund a national storage system for cord blood, currently in short supply.

What? You hadn't heard about a federal funding proposal that would aid umbilical cord stem cell research? All you've heard is that evil extremists are basically sentencing diabetic children and Michael Fox to death by banning embryonic stem cell research? Read on:

On May 24, the House of Representatives passed a bill that proposes a federally funded system for storing umbilical cord blood. The bill got little attention because on the same day, the House also passed legislation that aims to free up federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research -- touching off a storm of controversy and a veto threat from President Bush. Amid the din, [ViaCell CEO Marc] Beer was quietly cheering the umbilical cord bill. "It's a great validation," the CEO says. "It's a shame no one heard about it." If positive news on cord stem cells continues, doctors, patients, and investors will be all ears.

... although I expect MSM will cover theirs.

Hat tip: Reader MQuinn