BIO Supports Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 16, 2005)—Jim Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement on the proposed Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act:

“Representatives Mike Castle and Diana DeGette today joined Senators Arlen Specter, Tom Harkin and Orrin Hatch to introduce a bill that could go a long way toward making embryonic stem cell therapies a reality for the more than 100 million Americans who could potentially benefit from them. 

“Currently, federal research funding is available only for work using embryonic stem cell lines derived before August 9, 2001. This bill would lift that restriction while ensuring strong ethical requirements, thereby allowing federally funded researchers to explore therapies using cells that better reflect human genetic diversity, as well as cells derived without the use of mouse feeder cells, a potential source of contamination.

“BIO wholeheartedly supports this bill and its offer of hope to millions.  Although stem cell research is still at a very early stage, someday this technology may provide cures for diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injuries and a host of other disabling and deadly conditions. We should do everything we can to accelerate the research and ensure that the myriad therapeutic possibilities are explored to their fullest. We can do nothing less for the patients and families who are waiting, and hoping.”

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 healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.