On Tuesday 13 November, when opening the symposium of the French Academy of Sciences dedicated to the regeneration of tissues, Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2012, talked about the applications that his research on adult stem cells might lead to: "the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), for which a clinical trial will be launched in 2013, then Parkinson’s disease, damage to the spinal cord and blood diseases."
In a statement, the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune, said that "it is all the more interesting to hear Professor Yamanaka express himself in Paris since France took a long time to fully appreciate his research findings on animal iPS cells published in 2006, and on human iPS cells in 2007."
Noting that the "Japanese government realised the full importance of the discovery and began supporting Prof. Yamanaka in 2009, by financing his research work with a grant of €40 million," the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune pointed out that "it is crucial for French research to look for a similar realisation from the political leaders of our country. The next test will be on 13 December in the Senate with the return of the debate on the authorisation of research on the embryo." It put the question: "Will France decide for the anachronism of removing restrictions on research in this field?" This would "open the door for funding that would necessarily be to the detriment of research on iPS cells, and would have no other effects than to satisfy the expectations of the pharmaceutical industry." It concluded by pointing out that "if, in spite of all this, France refuses to choose and wants everything, it will have nothing."