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what is holding back early stage clinical trials for stem cell therapies?

Prof Chris Mason, committee member, UK National Stem Cell Network
Prof Pete Coffey, Professor of Cellular Therapy and Visual Sciences, UCL Institute of Ophthamology
Dr Julie Daniels, researcher, Moorfields Eye Hospital
Dr Kieren Breen, Director of Research and Development, Parkinson’s Disease Society
Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer, ReNeuron

Stem cell research has made huge advances along the road to delivering real regenerative medicine therapies in the clinic. A few approaches using adult stem cells are in trials, including for some forms of blindness, but why have we seen so few therapies make the jump from the lab to early stage clinical trials? Why is public investment in UK stem cell research and the UK’s position as one of the world leaders in the field not being translated into NHS treatments? Ahead of a meeting organised by the UK National Stem Cell Network, scientists briefed the media at the SMC on the hurdles that are slowing and stopping progress towards more clinical trials, particularly using human embryonic stem cells.

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