Killing the Dreams from my Pharma: Biotech firms fall as Obama’s embryo-research subsidies blocked 

A federal judge has dealt a blow to the White House and the biotech industry by blocking federal subsidies of embryo-destroying research. From the AP:

Shares of several stem-cell developers fell Tuesday following a judge’s ruling to temporarily block government rules expanding stem cell research….

Shares of StemCells Inc., based in Palo Alto, Calif., fell 5 cents, or 6.3 percent, to 80 cents in afternoon trading after touching a 52-week low of 76 cents….

Meanwhile, shares of Geron Corp., which is based Menlo Park, Calif., fell 17 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $4.85 in afternoon trading. The company focuses on embyronic stem cells, though it had not been relying on the government for funding.

Remember the Obama administration’s claims that it was getting politics out of science — by injecting government more deeply into science? Back then, in March, we had similar headlines: “Industry set for stem cell profits”; “Stem cell buzz may help industry”; “Shares of Stem Cells [Inc.] rally on Obama’s news.”

The biotech lobby is a big one, and Biotechnology Industry Organization chief Jim Greenwood — formerly a Republican Congressman — was at Martha Coakley’s Capitol Hill fundraiser in January as Democrats scrambled to save the Senate supermajority they thought they needed to pass Obamacare. That bill, of course, benefitted the biotech and pharma industries.

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Timothy P. Carney

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