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  • The Knotty Problem of Bringing Regenerative Medicine to Market



    When Lawrence Summers delivered his last commencement address as Harvard’s president 10 years ago, he spoke of the rosy future for stem cell science and regenerative medicine.

    The advancing technology, he said then, promised a cure for cancer, another for diabetes, a vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease, and ways to control AIDS, any one of which would have enormous impact around the world. Today, he believes he was too pessimistic.

    “Ten years later, I think, if anything, I underestimated the scientific potential,” said Summers, Harvard’s Charles W. Eliot University Professor, on Oct. 6. “I did not appreciate what subsequent research has demonstrated [as] stem cells’ capacity to address sickle cell anemia, to grow new heart cells and repair aging hearts, to replace tendons and ligaments, to address blood cancers … and to address certain forms of blindness that have been cured by stem cell transplants.”

    Today, Summers said, the field of regenerative medicine is poised to break out, generating treatments and cures for a host of ailments and becoming the foundation for a new branch of biomedical industry. With the research and development at Harvard and other universities, hospitals, and private companies in the region, Boston is poised to be a global center for that industry.

    Source: Bioscience Technology

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