MELBOURNE, Australia. May 29, 2002 ( – An Australian biotech company, ES Cell International, claims a breakthrough with embryonic stem cell lines that could lead to a cure for diabetes by 2009, AsiaPulse reported this week.  US scientists with the company “have cured diabetic mice using pancreas cells grown from embryonic stem cells” according to reports. ES Cell International chief executive officer Robert Klupacs said his company was now negotiating the intellectual property details of the process. The company had found stem cells from dead human bodies to be inadequate: “We needed to find a reproducible source of cells and that’s why human embryo stem cell research is so important.” Mr Klupacs said the US researchers had cleared the first hurdle by working out how to grow pancreatic cells. But he admitted that, “curing mice is not curing humans. There’s a long way to go.”

It remains to be seen how credible the ES Cell International claim is. Prior to this, claims about the potential successes of embryonic stem cell research have been wildly exaggerated to support large scale research funding and legalization of embryonic stem cell research.  In a related development, University of Toronto researchers claim a breakthrough in large-scale reproduction of embryonic stem cells. Problems multiplying these cells under laboratory conditions, reports the Globe and Mail, have been among the major stumbling blocks preventing their use in treating human diseases.  **Important: See the latest addition to LifeSite’s Stem Cell page:  The Current Status of Adult and embryonic Stem Cell research by Dr. John Shea, M.D.