09-05-2012, 09:35 AM
I have a rather broad question you may or may not be able to answer, but any thoughts help. I have been following developments in xenotransplantation and stem cell research focused on producing fully functional replacement islet cells. I personally think the xeno path seems the most promising (near-term) for developing treatments for type 1 diabetes, specifically those biotechs working on encapsulation technology for porcine islets and not genetic modification or engineering. However, I cannot help but notice that xenotransplantation is attracting very little media attention and, more crucially, little to no investment from big pharmaceutical companies in comparison to the stem cell enterprise. I realize there are concerns over immune response and the porcine endogenous retrovirus, but there are several companies getting past these obstacles in very promising ways i.e. through encapsulation and the discovery of pigs that don't carry PERV. Why is xeno not catching on in big pharma? Why does the general public, biotech, and pharma industry seem to care so much more about stem cell science that lacks the near-term results of xeno - especially for insulin dependent diabetes? This might just be my impression, if so could you point me in the direction of where I can find more information about venture capital investments in xeno.