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Drug giant shows its commitment to stem cells

On 14 November, pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced the formation of its new stem-cell research unit, Pfizer Regenerative Medicine, which will be based in two locations on either side of the Atlantic. The site in Cambridge, UK, will focus on neural disorders, whereas the base in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will explore applications of stem-cell technology to endocrine and cardiac research.

The centres will employ about 70 scientists in total, and Pfizer plans to announce additional collaborations with academia and industry in coming weeks.

Pfizer already has a long-term interest in cell-based therapeutics, but its expanded commitment to stem-cell research is indicative of a recent investment trend by other large pharmaceutical companies eager to use stem cells for drug screening, including GlaxoSmithKline, based near London, and the Swiss companies Roche and Novartis.

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Drug giant shows its commitment to stem cells. Nature 456, 293 (2008).

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