ItalyItaly

Research on human embryonic stem cells – a shaky future marked by murky decisions

06.09.2009

A Rome – Human stem cell research has become something of a studia non grata in Italian politics. Research into human embryonic stem cells was explicitly excluded from a recent call for proposals to fund stem-cell biology. Three scientists subsequently appealed against the exclusion, but lost the first round in court. This could mark the starting point of a lengthy legal battle to define the future of embryonic stem cell research in Italy. Just three days before the deadline for submitting grant proposals on July 20th, an administrative court in Rome backed up the government position and rejected the scientists’ appeal.
Political support for stem cell research in Italy has a turbulent history. In 2007, then health minister Livia Turco cancelled a a3m fund after complaints about the nontransparent distribution of the monies. After some squabbling, Turoc agreed to set up a new a8m fund, and to guarantee proper reviewing procedures. In spring of last year, after the ruling centre-left government lost to the coalition headed by Silvio Berlusconi, Turco’s successor Ferrucio Fazio promised to continue the fund.
A committee of five experts was then established to formulate a call for projects. Giulio Cossu, a developmental biologist at the San Raffaele scientific institute in Milan and one of the committee members, says that the group formulated a text that included every type of stem-cell proposal.

The mystery of who wrote what

But when the proposal was published, a sentence had been added explicitly excluding projects involving human embryonic stem cells. The proposal appeared online after a February meeting of Italy’s State-Regions Conference. Made up of representatives from the 20 Italian regions, that body decides how national health funds are distributed. In media interviews, Fazio dismissed rumours in spring that the sentence had been added by someone within his ministry. He insisted that the sentence had been added by the regions.
Elena Cattaneo from the University of Milan, along with Elisabetta Cerbai from the University of Florence and Silvia Garagna from the University of Pavia, filed a lawsuit that was rejected by a court in Rome on formal grounds. The judges noted that only institutional recipients of the funding – like regional councils and universities – are allowed to appeal against the government. Individual researchers, they said, don’t have that option.
The Italian law that regulates in vitro fertilisation (Legge 40) forbids the creation of new cell lines from embryos for scientific purposes, but does not prevent researchers from studying them. Cattaneo’s lawyer, Vittorio Angiolini, told the magazine Science that the next move will be to appeal to a higher Italian court, the State Council. He said he believes that the judges’ decision is by no means justified from a legal perspective.

ItalyItaly

12.06.2011

Milan – Everyone agrees that Italy is not Greece, but it is common wisdom that the country could also be doing better. Considering the meagre growth of the Italian economy in the last decade however, data fom the 2011 survey of...

ItalyItaly

01.04.2011

Milan – Italian drugmaker Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. and Merck Serono have broadened the scope of their 5-year-old collaboration on CNS drugs. In addition to the Parkinson’s treatment safinamide, under the terms of a new...

ItalyItaly

16.02.2011

Milan/Berlin – Swiss-Italian biotech Philogen SpA has revoked its plan to sell a 23% stake worth EUR65.3m and go public on the Milan stock exchange this Friday. The move came after German Bayer HealthCare unexpectedly terminated...

ItalyItaly

06.02.2011

Rome – The EUR2.5m ERC Advanced Grants are the Grammies of European science – not in the same league as a Nobel Prize, but still a lucrative honor. In the fourth round since 2007, the European Research Council awarded some a590m...

ItalyItaly

29.11.2010

Modena/London – Researchers from Germany, Italy and the UK have identified a molecule that is key to the onset of addiction and also involved into memory formation (EMBO Journal, doi:10.1038/emboj.2010.279). According to results...

ItalyItaly

09.11.2010

Genoa/Philadelphia — The inexpensive anti-gout drug allopurinol can counteract colorectal adenoma progression, according to data presented yesterday at the 9th Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference...

Displaying results 11 to 20 out of 181

< Previous 11-20 Next >

© 2007-2014 BIOCOM

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/nc/news/messages-archive/archive-italy/browse/1/article/research-on-human-embryonic-stem-cells-a-shaky-future-marked-by-murky-decisions.html

Events

All Events

Stock list

All quotes

TOP

  • 4SC1.17 EUR0.00%
  • ACTELION109.60 CHF0.00%
  • ADDEX3.10 CHF0.00%

FLOP

  • CYTOTOOLS31.45 EUR-0.47%
  • 4SC1.17 EUR0.00%
  • ACTELION109.60 CHF0.00%

TOP

  • CO.DON3.32 EUR32.8%
  • EPIGENOMICS3.83 EUR23.5%
  • PAION3.05 EUR23.0%

FLOP

  • ADDEX3.10 CHF-22.5%
  • EVOTEC3.08 EUR-16.1%
  • MEDIGENE3.93 EUR-15.5%

TOP

  • SANTHERA88.05 CHF2058.1%
  • CO.DON3.32 EUR286.0%
  • PAION3.05 EUR202.0%

FLOP

  • CYTOS0.24 CHF-94.0%
  • BIOFRONTERA2.20 EUR-39.7%
  • MERCK KGAA68.48 EUR-39.7%

No liability assumed, Date: 20.09.2014


Current issue

All issues

Product of the week

Products