Federal Stem Cell Ban: Which States Benefit?

Now that a federal judge has halted government funding for embryonic stem cell research, the field is at a standstill. But one state stands to benefit.
by | August 25, 2010

When a federal judge ruled this week that using federal funds for embryonic in unconstitutional, the research came to a halt.

But the ban holds, there's one state that could come out ahead, according to Fortune reporter Shelley DuBois:

[National Institutes of Health] scientists are scrambling to figure out how to proceed with embryonic stem cell research already in progress without illegally using federal money.

Institutions doing steam cell research across the country have been afected by the ban. But one state in the union shunned federal money for stem cell research from the get-go: California. If the federal ban holds, California could actually benefit by becoming the prime target for money aimed at stem cell research.

California scientists aren't cheering the ruling, though, says DuBois. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine sent out a press release saying the group "deplores the decision."

Still, if the federal government can't spend money on this research, the Golden State may be the big winner.

With a major funding competitor -- the federal government -- sidelined at least for now, California firms and taxpayers stand to reap the potential rewards (or, to be sure, losses) of investing in stem cell research. [...]

California isn't the only state to invest in stem cell research, but its progressive policy on embryonic stem cells (ESCs) has made it the leader. The two main biotech companies investigating ESC therapies are Geron (GERN) and Advanced Cell Technologies, both with main offices in California. [...]

[I]f California can continue the trend of funneling the majority of ESC money into projects inside the state, it may be able to reap the benefits from groundbreaking research in the long term, and in the short term, create much-needed jobs.

Zach Patton  |  Executive Editor
zpatton@governing.com  | 

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