News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Time for an urgent review of Xenotransplantation

NZORD - the New Zealand Organisation for Rare Disorders

Time for an urgent review of the restrictions on Xenotransplantation - Press release 5 August 2005.

News of significant success in pre-clinical studies on an animal model of Huntington's disease by New Zealand company Living Cell Technologies Ltd, adds strongly to other very good reasons for a review of the current restrictions on Xenotransplantation medical research. Click here for a NZ Herald article on this development.

LCT uses live cells from pigs in its experimental therapy for HD, specially encapsulated in material that prevents immune rejection by the patient. This process is very similar to the treatment it has successfully used in clinical trials to treat people affected by diabetes. However concern about possible transfer of animal diseases to humans led to tight restrictions on this type of research in many countries several years ago. LCT has conducted the present trials in the United States.

The rationale for the restrictions on this technology was severely dented when the researchers who originally posed the concerns (C Patience and others), published further research in 2004, and again in 2005, which significantly reduces the original concerns and endorsed the continuation of controlled clinical trials.

In January this year our Bioethics Council launched a discussion booklet on the cultural, spiritual and ethical aspects of Xenotransplantation and commenced a public dialogue on this type of biotechnology. Details of this can be found on the website of the Bioethics Council. In May 2005, NZORD submitted to The Bioethics Council that the debates were not identifying any issues of such magnitude that justified restriction of research or clinical trials of Xenotransplantation. Click here for NZORD's submission to the bioethics Council and for the detailed submission of Diabetes Youth New Zealand, whose submission we endorsed.

The Bioethics Council is yet to produce its report, but it is most unlikely to recommend any restriction on xenotransplantation cell therapy. Also, the Council made it clear during the public dialogue that it was not considering the safety regulation - just cultural, spiritual and ethical matters. A review of the safety regulation should be commenced urgently so these two aspects can be considered in parallel, rather than have things considerably delayed by one review following the other.

The reported success of LCT's pre-clinical studies, the disease-free status of the pigs used to source the cells, and the growing body of supportive scientific literature on the topic, are very good reasons for the safety restrictions on Xenotransplantation clinical trials to be reviewed. New Zealand ought to be bringing its regulations into line with the USA where controlled clinical trials are permitted.

It is ironic indeed that a treatment method with huge promise in treating a number of very serious diseases, and some success in early trials, cannot readily be further trialled here in the country where it was originally developed.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis Review: From Free Press to Fancy Dress - Spielberg's The Post

Stephen Spielberg's The Post is an opportune newsroom drama in which a corrupt Republican president wages war against the "liberal media," as its plucky proprietor risks economic and legal ruin to bring the Pentagon Papers to public light. Its true protagonist is publisher Katharine Graham, a stringently diplomatic businesswoman, reluctantly compelled to take an overtly political stance in the interests of democracy and freedom of the press. More>>



Howard Davis Review: The Black Dog of Empire - Joe Wright's Darkest Hour'

On the eve of England's contorted efforts to negotiate its ignominious retreat from Europe and the chaotic spectacle of the Tory party ratifying its undignified departure from a union originally designed to prevent another World War, there has been a renewed appetite for movies about 1940. More>>



Howard Davis Review: Anger Begets Anger - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

For fans of what Ricky Gervais termed "number movies" (Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's 11, Se7en), Martin McDonagh's latest offering will be a welcome addition to the roster. The Irish playwright turned screenwriter and director has produced another quirky and darkly comic tragedy that evolves around the futility of anger and grief, retribution and revenge. More>>

Howard Davis: Sexting in George Dawe's Genevieve - Part I

Te Papa's permanent collection includes an enormous oil painting by the English artist George Dawe called Genevieve (from by a poem by S.T. Coleridge entitled 'Love') that was prominently featured in the 2013 exhibition Angels & Aristocrats. Compare the massive immensity of the bard's gorgeously gilded harp with the stubby metallic handle of the Dark Knight's falchion, both suggestively positioned at crotch-level. Dawe's enormous canvas invokes a whole history of blushing that pivots around a direct connection to sexual arousal. More>>

ALSO:

Ethnomusicology: Malian ‘Desert Blues’ Revolutionaries To Storm WOMAD

Malian band Tinariwen (playing WOMAD NZ in March 2018) are a true musical revolutionaries in every sense. Active since 1982, these nomadic Tuareg or ‘Kel Tamashek’ (speakers of Tamashek) electric guitar legends revolutionised a traditional style to give birth to a new genre often called ‘desert blues’. They also have a history rooted deeply in revolution and fighting for the rights of their nomadic Tamashek speaking culture and people. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland