WELLINGTON, May 21, 2003 ( – A Dutch biotech company has lost its bid to the Wellington Regional Ethics Committee to use aborted New Zealand babies for research purposes, after the Capital Coast Health Board “suddenly withdrew its support,” according to the Weekend Herald.

The company, Netherlands-based Crucell, wanted to take tissue from the aborted unborn to Australia to develop retinal stem cell lines and create vaccines.

“This type of research is new to New Zealand and needed ethical scrutiny,” said board general manager Dr. John Coughlan. “During this process, it was soon realised by everyone involved that there are no guidelines in this country governing the provision and use of foetal tissue for research.”