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Friday, July 08, 2005

Another Wishy-Washy Poll on ESRC

Research!America, a non-profit gaggle of universities, patient groups and biotech and pharmaceutical companies, has released the results of a survey showing that a majority of US adults support embryonic stem cell research, the use of federal funds to support the research, and therapeutic cloning. However, as with many previous polls:

"There's far less support for (embryonic-stem-cell research and cloning) than this poll would have you believe," Gene Tarne, spokesman for Do No Harm, told UPI. He said the questions did not mention embryos, or state that embryos would be destroyed to derive the embryonic stem cells. Polls that have made this distinction have found less support for the research, he added.
My question is actually spurred by this statement:

Dan Eramian, vice president of communications for the Biotechnology Industry Organization in Washington, told UPI the findings may help persuade investors and companies to commit more funds to this type of research. The legislation in the Senate could influence that thinking as well, he said.
Given my post yesterday re the lack of VC interest in ESRC because of the lack of clinical trial success, the regulatory concerns, the uncertainties of success, and the long time horizon, any company jumping in because of the creation of another corporate welfare program is a prime candidate for having its stock sold short. So what's the real motiviation of the industry spokesman to make such a comment? Why not push the real opportunities based on ASC instead? I suppose it could be another simple case of the MSM missing the story.

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