BIO Commends House for Passage of Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 24, 2005) -- Jim Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement on H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 238-194.

While serving in the U.S. Congress, Greenwood was a vocal advocate of stem cell research.  He was an original cosponsor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2004.

Greenwood recorded this statement in a two minute video news release which can be viewed at .  For information about using this video on-air or to schedule an interview, please contact Stephanie Fischer or Kim Coghill at the numbers listed above.

“Federal funding is currently available only for research utilizing embryonic stem cell lines derived before August 9, 2001. While BIO has applauded the Administration for allowing federal funding for research with these limited embryonic stem cells, in order to more fully advance the science, we need to expand both the number of stem cell lines available and the funds for this critical research.  The passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act by Congress today is a critical first step.

“BIO strongly supports this bill and its offer of hope to millions of Americans.  While stem cell research is at an early stage, this technology has the 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 the research and ensure that all avenues of therapeutic possibilities are explored to their fullest. We can do nothing less for the patients and families who are waiting and hoping.”

H.R. 810 would expand the limited number of stem cell lines available for federally-funded research by allowing couples to donate excess embryos from in-vitro fertilization clinics which would otherwise be discarded.  The couples would have to give written consent and would not receive any monetary compensation for the donation.

BIO also applauds the House for today’s passage of H.R. 2520 which would establish a network of umbilical cord blood banks for research and for the treatment of patients. 

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.