WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 21, 2007) -- The following statement was issued today by Biotechnology Industry Organization President and CEO Jim Greenwood regarding recently published papers by researchers in Japan and at the University of Wisconsin reporting reprogramming adult human skin cells to produce cells similar to human embryonic stem cells:

“These reports are an exciting development in the ongoing quest to explore the opportunities presented by stem cells for the development of therapies for diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injuries and a host of other disabling and deadly conditions. 

“As the researchers themselves note, however, this new advance is not yet a substitute for other areas of stem cell research, including research based on the use of human embryonic stem cells.  We must do all we can to accelerate research and explore all avenues of therapeutic possibilities to their fullest to determine which areas can present treatment options fastest.  BIO will continue to work with all parties to urge support and advocate for increased funding for all promising areas of therapeutic research.

About BIO

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-Asia Partnering Conference 2008
Jan. 28–29, 2008
Tokyo, Japan

BIO CEO & Investor Conference 2008
Feb. 11–13, 2008
New York City

Partnering for Global Health Forum 2008
March 10–12, 2008
Washington, D.C.

World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing
April 27–30, 2008

BIO International Convention
June 17–20, 2008
San Diego