BIO Applauds President Obama’s Action to Expand Federal Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

BIO lauded President Barack Obama&rsquo;s Executive Order to allow the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund research using embryonic stem cells.&nbsp;</p>

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 9, 2009) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) lauded President Barack Obama’s Executive Order to allow the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund research using embryonic stem cells.   The NIH was previously able to fund research only on a very limited number of stem cell lines.

“We fully support and are enthusiastic about President Obama’s decision to allow the NIH to fund embryonic stem cell research,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO.  “BIO believes that research on both adult and embryonic stem cells holds great promise to produce new therapies and possibly cures for the millions of patients in the U.S. and around the world suffering from cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries and other life-threatening diseases and conditions.”

Embryonic stem cell research will also further the development of cell-based therapies by leading to greater scientific understanding of cell differentiation (the process by which cells become specialized to perform certain functions) and proliferation (the process by which cells expand or multiply for controlled use as a potential therapeutic). 

“Today’s action to expand  NIH funding of stem cell research is a welcome and critical step.  But  it is only the first step in a very long and complex process to move from the promise of research to the reality of new therapies and cures for patients,” continued Greenwood.  “To fulfill this promise, we need the advanced research capabilities and product development expertise of biotechnology companies.  And for biotechnology companies to succeed, we need to ensure that we have public policies in place which encourage innovation by protecting intellectual property, fully funding and appropriately staffing the Food and Drug Administration,  and providing adequate reimbursement.”

“We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to develop public policies that enable our industry to turn the hope of basic research to the reality of cures and advanced therapies,” Greenwood concluded.


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About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.