BIO Honors Reeve's Courage and Belief in Medical Research


October 11, 2004

) -- Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), today issued the following statement on the passing of Christopher Reeve, actor and medical research advocate:

“Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed from the neck down in horseback riding accident in 1995, turned his condition into an inspiring effort to educate the public on the potential use of human embryonic stem cells to treat a range of ailments including diabetes, spinal-cord injuries, cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

“Mr. Reeve was an uplifting voice at BIO’s annual meeting in Boston in 2000,” Feldbaum said.

In his address to thousands of biotechnology scientists, Mr. Reeve said, “It’s important to give them [patients] hope – not to give them false hope, but to go back to what really is the American mantra, and it is a realistic mantra, that nothing is impossible. Tell them that. Let them know that.”

Currently, California, the first state in the union to take a proactive stance on embryonic stem cell research, is asking voters whether it should provide $3 billion over the next decade to fund this cutting-edge research. Voters will answer the question, referred to as Proposition 71, on the Nov. 2 ballot. BIO supports Proposition 71.

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.