South Korea’s stem cell research is bouncing back after the disgrace caused by researcher Hwang Woo-suk, whose work with stem cells proved to be fraudulent.
South Korea’s stem cell research is bouncing back after the disgrace caused by researcher Hwang Woo-suk, whose work with stem cells proved to be fraudulent. The country announced last month that it will boost funding for research into stem cells and regenerative medicine by 33 billion won (US$29 million) in 2012, 4 times that given in 2011. A total of 6 different ministries will invest 100 billion won (US$89 million) in stem cell research this year. Up until last year, public investment in stem cell research in South Korea was relatively low and aimed at basic research. Now the country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare is expanding its support for clinical research, spending money on linking basic research with intermediate or clinical studies. The aim is to commercialise the research in its early stages.
“From the current research atmosphere and infrastructure, the government has judged that stem-cell studies are now maturing,” says Hyung Min Chung, of Seoul-based biotechnology firm Cha Bio and Diostech and an adviser on the budget plan. The government money will be directed at two areas: rare or incurable diseases which provide little incentive for private investment, such as spinal cord damage; and common chronic ailments such as arthritis, with a view to helping South Korean companies capture part of the sizeable potential market for treatments. ~ Nature News, May 1
South Korea ramps up stem-cell research
stem cell research
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