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hennypenny View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pharma Companies blocked Type 1 Diabetes Cure
    Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 6:44pm
Shocking!!

Scientist Revives Research


Twelve years ago, Irving Weissman discovered a treatment that might have saved the lives of thousands of women with advanced breast cancer, but pharmaceutical companies weren’t interested in developing the therapy. Though that interest is finally being reignited, Weissman doesn’t pull any punches. “I hate to say I told you so,” he said.

Weissman, a professor of pathology and developmental biology at Stanford University, spoke Wednesday and Thursday as part of the Columbia University Department of Religion’s Bampton Lecture series. The lecture series is modeled after a centuries-old Oxford series of the same name, and invites famous authorities in their respective fields to give talks on various issues of interest to the religious community.

In Wednesday’s lecture, Weissman laid out the conceptual foundation of his work—that stem cells are rare, self-renewing, and can regenerate body tissues. Weissman repeatedly expressed frustration that while many of his discoveries seemed to hold remarkable potential for life-saving treatments, commercial or regulatory hurdles have prevented his scientific research from benefiting human beings.

One example is Weissman’s mid-’90s research on type I diabetes, in which he demonstrated the ability to fully cure type I diabetes in mice using stem cells. But even though the experiments avoided political controversy by using so-called adult stem cells, which do not come from embryos, Weissman ran into a road block when pharmaceutical companies refused to sponsor clinical trials. The therapy went nowhere. Weissman implied that the pharmaceutical companies had put profit over principle, preferring to keep diabetes sufferers dependent on costly insulin than to cure them once and for all.

“He [Weissman] has a long history of being at the forefront of his field,” Arthur Palmer, professor of structural biology at Columbia said, remarking that Weissman has never been afraid to challenge scientific orthodoxy.

One example of this iconoclastic streak is Weissman’s outspoken disagreement with recent reports that adult stem cells can be “reprogrammed,” obliviating the need for the more powerful embryonic stem cells.

Weissman geared his presentation to a lay audience, only occasionally drifting into jargon. Jaffer Kolb, who was visiting his sister at Columbia, enjoyed Weissman’s talk. “I have no science background,” he said, “so I was afraid I would have a hard time. But it was really easy to follow.”

The presentation left some audience members with questions. Susan Doubileg, a Columbia alumna, wondered if Weissman’s results were as conclusive as presented. “If they were so useful, why weren’t they picked up in other countries?” she asked, referring to Europe’s less restrictive stem cell regulations. Nonetheless, Palmer cautioned against dismissing Weissman’s research. “He’s been right a lot in the past,” he said.

Weissman’s final two lectures are scheduled for Jan. 27 and Jan. 29, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. in IAB 1501.


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ctownqueen View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 6:46pm
very interesting!!!!

I dont mind stem cell research...but A LOT of people will burn u at the stake messing with stem cells.
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KrissyK View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 6:47pm
No surprise to me companies will make way more money off the treatment then off of the cure

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hennypenny View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 6:50pm
True,  but his cure was using adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells so there should have been no problem. But the goal of pharma companies is to keep people on drugs. If you cure it, their profits go down. Just imagine if Type 1 diabetes no longer existed. Thats a huge loss to them. 
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ctownqueen View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 6:52pm
yea....that would be a huge loss...millions of people have type 1 diabetes.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 6:57pm
Wonder why he didnt' take the idea to another country, where the pharm co. don't have as much power?

I think what with new blood in Washington a lot of info llke this will be coming out in the next few years.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 6:57pm

Not surprising about the Phrama companies.

 
But I just want to make a point: when something works in mice, 90% of the time it doesn't work in humans. I guess we will never know.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 7:09pm

Stem cell therapy has the potential to cure a lot of conditions like Sickle cell also. But the only problem is adult stem cells don't work. They're already programmed and have antigens whereas embyonic don't. Unfortunately all the restrctions on embryonic stem cells make it very difficult research to do here in the U.S. There actually is research on this being done

Pharma. companies actually work very hard on trying to find cures. Think about it - if they can discover and market a cure - there's huge financial incetive in it. They would be able to name huge pricetags on the meds. It wouldn't stop people from getting it, so they would always have an audience. More then what they can make on Insulin.
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hennypenny View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 7:17pm
Originally posted by Brown Suga Brown Suga wrote:

Stem cell therapy has the potential to cure a lot of conditions like Sickle cell also. But the only problem is adult stem cells don't work. They're already programmed and have antigens whereas embyonic don't. Unfortunately all the restrctions on embryonic stem cells make it very difficult research to do here in the U.S. There actually is research on this being done

Pharma. companies actually work very hard on trying to find cures. Think about it - if they can discover and market a cure - there's huge financial incetive in it. They would be able to name huge pricetags on the meds. It wouldn't stop people from getting it, so they would always have an audience. More then what they can make on Insulin.


I don't think they would make more on  a cure. Some people need meds for their whole life and more meds from the other issues that result as a complication. Over the years, that is going to be a bigger profit than eliminating it. Yes they will always have an audience but their ultimate goal is to make as much profit possible.  More profit in the treatment than the cure.

For instance, someone diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a child that lives to be 80 yrs old and needs insulin all their life. How much money will they get over 80 yrs vs if they cured that person. Now when you look at all the people with Type 1 diabetes spending that kind of money over 80 yrs.
There is way more profit in the treatment than the cure.


Edited by hennypenny - Jan 25 2009 at 7:29pm
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Haitienne Pearl View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2009 at 7:28pm
I am really not surprised (same goes for AIDS, imo)
Now we have names.... They'll be discover little by little.
I just hope that after being discovered that it won't stay like that and they will finally work to put these cures on the market. 
Thanks for the article Henny!Thumbs%20Up
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