Cells with fetal tissue: Trump treated with the technique he called “unacceptable”

NEW YORK – Donald Trump received an experimental cocktail of antibodies derived from fetal tissue from an abortion. The Regeneron therapy used to fight Covid contagion, and which the president enthusiastically called a “miracle from God”, was made possible thanks to research that his administration banned and for which he denied access to federal funding. .

The effectiveness of the experimental therapy that, in Trump’s words, made him go back twenty years, had been tested using monoclonal cells of fetal tissue collected over forty years ago and “frozen”, a window sufficient to circumvent the ban. by the president last year to counter the use of “fetal cell lines”.

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Details of the origin of the therapy were provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals itself, the company that developed the treatment.

The use of “immortalized” cells is widespread all over the world: the lines are defined as “stable”, that is, capable of being reproduced in the laboratory and guaranteeing all researchers to carry out standardized experiments that respond to identical parameters.

The antibodies used by Regeneron are produced by Cho cells, hamster ovary cells, and tested with cells taken from a legally aborted fetus. In the president’s case, a “line”, called 293T, would have been used, derived from the tissues of a kidney from an abortion performed in the 1970s in the Netherlands. An identical line was obtained in 1985 from the cells of an aborted fetus at the eighteenth week.

Years of laboratory breeding do not allow for a technically direct link between therapy used to cure the president and fetal cells, but when the correlation emerged, evangelicals and the pro-life movement supporting Trump and his campaign against abortion, it did not they criticized the genesis of the therapy that saved the president.

When the administration announced a year ago the suspension of funding for biomedical research on abortion-derived tissues, the Department of Health said, “Promoting the dignity of human life is one of the president’s priorities.” And one hundred Conservative members of Congress signed an open letter in which they praised Trump’s choice to “protect the sanctity of all human life.”

The antiviral drug Remdesivir, which the president received in the last week, was produced thanks to a process that a year ago was described by conservatives as “morally unacceptable”.

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Some researchers see a double standard in the White House. “If it is opposed to the research – he commented to New York Times Deepak Srivastava, which leads the International Society for Stem Cell Research – should have rejected the use of drugs that were produced following that research. “

Two other companies, Moderna and AstraZeneca, use fetal cells. As members of Operation Warp Spreed, set up by the president to find a vaccine quickly, the two drug companies and Regeneron have received federal funding. And others may be on the way.

Remdesivir proved so effective that the Regeneron group asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its emergency use nationwide. If the green light is given, the drug would be funded by the government led by the man leading the anti-abortion crusade.


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