In spring 1999, scientists, biotech companies, ethicists, religious leaders, patient advocates, abortion opponents, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), were members of Congress and all engaged in a lengthy debate over research on human embryos. Geron Corporation, a publicly traded biotechnology company based in Menlo Park, California, was the focus of this debate. Geron had to isolate the funding of research projects at three U.S. universities on human embryonic stem cells (hES cells) – the primord … Read more »

In spring 1999, scientists, biotech companies, ethicists, religious leaders, patient advocates, abortion opponents, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), were members of Congress and all engaged in a lengthy debate over research on human embryos. Geron Corporation, a publicly traded biotechnology company based in Menlo Park, California, was the focus of this debate. Geron had to isolate the funding of research projects at three U.S. universities on human embryonic stem cells (hES cells) – the original or master cells from which to develop all human tissue. Executives knew that this research was likely to stir up public debate on the ethics of science, senior manager suggested forming a board that could provide methods and goals, an external evaluation of the ethics of research. In 1998, Thomas had Okarma, PhD and MD, vice president of research and development to set the Geron Ethics Advisory Board (EAB). Details of the controversy surrounding Geron embryonic stem cell research and the role that played in shaping the Geron EAB response and actions. Okarma evaluates the effectiveness of the EAB in the hESC controversy to determine whether changes to the mandate, structure and extent of the EAB are needed, especially given the highly controversial nature of future research Geron. Had been a recent acquisition Geron to clone the in-house capacity to tissues and animals. As this technology could lead the cloning of embryos and the people Geron could be more ethically controversial decisions in the future than it had faced with hESCs.
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from
Margaret L. Eaton,
Clare R. Ozawa,
Gerald M. Farquharson
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business
20 pages.
Release Date: 02 April 2004. Prod #: BME10-PDF-ENG
Geron Corporation and the role of ethics advice HBR case solution