PPL Therapeutics, the Scottish-based biotechnology firm responsible for creating Dolly the sheep, announced last week that it is to close the stem cell research side of its business based at Roslin, near Edinburgh, after no buyer had been found for it.
In a statement issued by the company, it was said that following a 'thorough review of the UK stem cell programme, it has become clear that no value can be extracted... and it has been agreed that the program should now be closed'. Closing the loss-making stem cell programme, said the company, would save it approximately 700,000 pounds a year.
The sale of the xenotransplantation side of PPL's regenerative medicine business, based in Virginia, US, is ongoing. Last month, PPL announced the birth of a litter of cloned piglets that had had both copies of a gene 'knocked-out' in order that their organs would be less likely to be rejected if they were transplanted into humans.