WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 12, 2007) -- Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement on S. 5, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, which was passed in the U.S. Senate last night by a vote of 63-34. The U.S. House of Representatives passed similar legislation by a vote of 253-174 on January 11, 2007.
“I commend the Senate for the passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act and thank Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as well as the other co-sponsors for their leadership and support of this critical legislation.
“Although our nation’s existing federal stem cell policy has advanced this important field, it is clear that an expanded program is essential for this research to achieve its full potential.
“While embryonic stem cell research is still at an early stage, the nation’s top scientists agree that this technology has the greatest potential to provide new, groundbreaking therapies for diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injuries and a host of other disabling and deadly conditions. We must do all we can to accelerate research and explore all avenues of therapeutic possibilities to their fullest. This bill allows important research to advance and creates an ethical framework to ensure that it is done appropriately.
“The bipartisan passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act by both the House and Senate reflects the strong and continued support of the vast majority of Americans for this very promising research.”
S. 5 would expand the limited number of stem cell lines currently available for federally-funded research by allowing funds to be used for research on cell lines created from excess embryos from in vitro fertilization clinics, regardless of when the cell lines were derived. These embryos are in excess of clinical need and would otherwise be discarded as medical waste. Individuals who choose to donate these embryos must give written consent and would not receive any monetary compensation for the donation.
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the global event for biotechnology.
Upcoming BIO Events
· BIO International Convention
May 6-9, 2007
· BIO VentureForum-East 2007
June 18-20, 2007
· BIO Mid-America VentureForum 2007
Sep. 24–26, 2007