Balanced Journalism Category: ARTICLES THAT INCLUDE OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS
Media item: Stem Cell Showdown: Celltex vs. the FDA
Published by: Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Author: Susan Berfield on January 03, 2013
Jan 11, 2012 the following letter was sent to Susan Berfield, who replied with the response we invited, which is posted below our comments. This is the type of exchange we were hoping for with the media.
Thank you for your article “Stem Cell Showdown: Celltex vs. the FDA”. Several members of our group, Patients For Stem Cells, were interviewed in your article.
Our group represents patients who have been denied access to our own stem cells because the FDA has regulated our cells as drugs. We oppose this decision and believe it is a violation of our basic rights.
We feel this is a very balanced article that exposes the challenges the industry is undergoing, and finally gives patients a voice too. Real patients discussing real concerns balanced against academics with theoretical concerns.
Part of our mission is to expose the severe financial biases of academics who are frequently tapped as experts in stem cell stories. For example, you quoted as an expert George Daley, who holds the following embryonic stem cell & IPS patents:
-2008 President-George Daley-Children’s Hospital-
-Creating Embryonic Stem Cells for Mass production-PCT/US2007/019935
-Method for Enhancing Proliferation of Stem Cells-PCT/US03/29185
-Proprietary Kit to see if an iPS Cell is Correctly Manufactured-PCT/US09/57849
-Method to Create iPSC’s (artificial stem cells)-PCT/US08/12532
Any of these multi-million dollar patents would be rendered worthless if doctors routinely use autologous stem cells in the practice of medicine.
Again, great work and congratulations for giving patients a voice!
SammyJo Wilkinson, a member of Patients For Stem Cells
Thank you for your help with my story and for the close reading of it now. I understand your concerns about the competing financial interests of many of those involved in stem cell research and I’m glad you are reminding us all of that. Everyone I spoke with–scientists, executives, and patients alike–has something at stake. I believe George Daley was speaking out of concern for patients generally, not only those seeking treatment with autologous stem cells.
I appreciate the opportunity to respond.