The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has been given powers to issue licences to derive stem cells in the UK. It appears to be an area they neither understand or are comfortable with. HFEA proceedures are very slow, bureaucratic and expensive for the applicant (in both time and fees). Although the HFEA was given authority over applications from Industry it does not accept any commercial agrguements over issues like competitive interest, confidentiality or IP.

For it to succeed the fledgling  'stem cell' industry needs a clear unified regulatory framework, removng overlaps between quangos and in particular the stranglehold of the HFEA.

Why is this idea important?

Stem cells are important to producing new therapies at treatments for the NHS and for developing advanced technologies and services that British Pharma and Biotech companes can exploit worldwide. The 'dead hand' of the HFEA has significantly eroded the lead the UK once had in stem cell research and threatens to destroy our competitive edge. 

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