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Medical Research Council: Human Embryo Experiments

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much the Medical Research Council (MRC) has spent on research using (a) human embryos, (b) adult stem cells and (c) umbilical cord blood in each year since the coming into force of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; and how much the MRC plans to spend in each category of research in each of the next three years. (169468)

The MRC’s spend on stem cell research since 2002/03 was as follows:

Expenditure (£ million)

Type of stem cell research

2002/03

4.5

Information on the type of stem cells used is not held by MRC before 2004/05.

2003/04

14.5

Information on the type of stem cells used is not held by MRC before 2004/05.

2004/05

14.1

50 per cent. embryonic stem cells and 50 per cent. adult

2005/06

17.4

55 per cent. embryonic stem cells and 45 per cent. adult

2006/07

17.4

1 Estimate only

Prior to 2002/03, comparable figures are not available. Umbilical cord research is included in the figures for adult stem cell research as separate figures are not available.

The MRC’s estimated expenditure on stem cell research for 2007/08 is anticipated to be broadly similar to current levels. Figures are not available for the next three years but the MRC is developing strategies to increase its spend on stem cell research in line with its recently increased budgetary allocation.