Blinding Science: China’s Race to Innovate – Bruce Einhorn

From BusinessWeek (link)

Looking for the cutting edge of ? Instead of Stanford or Cambridge or Singapore, consider Shenzhen. That’s where Chinese entrepreneur Sean Hu has set up one of the most radical businesses in the field. Hu is chairman of Beike Biotech, a joint venture involving the Shenzhen government, Peking University, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Launched last year, Beike specializes in stem cell treatments that doctors in the U.S. wouldn’t dare to try experimentally, let alone commercially: taking stem cells from aborted fetuses and implanting them into patients with otherwise incurable diseases.

In the U.S., simply using stem cells from embryos is controversial. That’s not the case in China, where regulators are also far more permissive about experimental therapies than their U.S. counterparts. So far, Hu and his doctors have treated more than 100 patients suffering from autism, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), crippling strokes, and other severe problems. Now, Hu plans to make Beike a nationwide company with global reach. “We will be able to apply the most advanced stem cell technology and use our network to collaborate with foreign biotech companies,” he says.

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