Skip to main content /HEALTH with /HEALTH

NIH announces owners of stem cells

The National Institutes of Health has revealed all the organizations that own the stem cell lines available for federal funding.

A list was posted on the NIH Web site Monday.

The institute confirmed that there are 64 lines, or colonies, of stem cells taken from human embryos. The organizations met with the NIH this week to confirm what stem cells they have and other details of their research.

Read the NIH statement and list of stem cell owners 

Forty-four of the 64 lines are owned by institutions outside the United States. Gothenburg University in Gothenburg, Sweden, owns the most, with 19 stem cell lines. Next is CyThera, Inc. of San Diego, California, which owns nine lines. Reliance Life Sciences of Mumbai, India, owns seven lines.

The NIH said the scientists who developed these stem cells lines have told the agency that the stem cells are viable and can be frozen and cultured and have been through more than one population doubling.

It was initially unclear how many stem cell lines existed, following President Bush's August 9 announcement that he would support federally funded research only for the existing lines.

On September 5, the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on stem cell research, to determine more details about where the stem cell lines come from.

Last week, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, who heads the committee, requested the names of the research groups who have human embryonic stem cell lines, information on where their research has been published, and details about proprietary rights and what ethical standards were used when the stem cells were derived.

Some of the organizations had revealed their identities before the NIH list was published, including the University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; BresaGen, an Australian company that has four stem cell lines; and an Israeli scientist.

Allan Robins, senior vice president and chief science officer of BresaGen said the NIH and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson are working hard to move human embryonic stem cell research forward now that they can allocate federal funds towards the work.

Embryonic stem cells are "blank" or undifferentiated cells that can develop into any type of cell in the body. Researchers hope to turn stem cells into specific cells, such as heart or liver or nerve cells.

Scientists hope human embryonic stem cell research will lead to treatments and cures for many diseases, including diabetes, Alzheimer's and spinal cord injuries.


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



Back to the top