q Stem Cell :: Advanced Cell Technology Applauds Inclusion of Stem Cell Provision In $152 Billion Federal Funding Measure | Health | Spirit India

Stem Cell :: Advanced Cell Technology Applauds Inclusion of Stem Cell Provision In $152 Billion Federal Funding Measure

On June_21, 2007, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $152 billion Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. An amendment to the bill would expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research by changing a critical date relating to the eligibility of stem cell lines.

The amendment would fundamentally change current federal embryonic stem cell policy by permitting federally-funded research on stem cell lines that were derived before June 15 of this year, as opposed to the current marker of August 9, 2001.

The committee noted that this moving of the date forward by almost six years will advance progress toward treatments and cures by significantly expanding the number of stem cell lines eligible for federally funded research.

Key among those lines would be upwards of twenty from Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC). These would include the Company?s single cell blastomere lines, created without the destruction of embryos. This technique was documented in a major paper in Nature magazine in August 2006. Moreover, the Company recently announced additional lines using this embryo-safe technique, as discussed by ACTC?s Chairman and CEO, William M. Caldwell, IV, in an interview on Bloomberg TV on June 20, juxtaposed with President Bush?s press conference on related topics.

The legislation would provide more than $29 billion to fund biomedical research at the 27 Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This represents an increase of $1 billion over the fiscal year 2007 level and more than $1.2 billion over the President?s most recent budget request.

Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) said, ?We have written a bill that, I believe, reflects the real priorities and values of the American people. The bill provides $29 billion for life-saving biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health.? In this same regard, Senate Appropriation Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) noted, ?The future of our nation and its ability to dominate in the global economy depends on the strength of our workforce, our ability to give our children access to an education that is second to none, and invest in our research facilities so that our doctors and scientists can continue to find cures for illnesses that affect millions of Americans every year.?

William M. Caldwell IV urged the NIH to look favorably on all current grant applications utilizing the Company?s single cell blastomere technology, saying, ?If the NIH approves funding for human embryonic stem cell lines derived from a well-established, widely-used medical procedure, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), the United States scientific and biotechnology community will have the opportunity to accelerate this technology platform which does not destroy the embryo, and translate the existing body of science into therapies destined for clinical trials. Over 2,500 children have been born in the past few years through PGD. They are alive and healthy, with loving parents and are a walking testament to the viability of PGD, which is the basis for our single cell blastomere technology.?

Mr. Caldwell added, ?Unlike a recently-announced technique for deriving embryonic stems cells in mice, this is not a science project years away from being utilized for therapeutic work. These embryonic stem cell lines we have developed are available today, here and now, and may be used immediately.?

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