The International Society for Cellular Therapy has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. The agreement has been signed by Massimo Dominici, M.D., ISCT President, and Morrie Ruffin, ARM Managing Director.
ISCT will become an honorary member of ARM, and vice versa. This agreement will extend collaborations between the two international organizations. Since ARM’s establishment in 2009, both organizations have collaborated on a series of projects, including authoring white papers. ARM and ISCT members have held leadership roles in both organizations.
This MOU will enable the two organizations to collaborate more closely in future. An ISCT-ARM Joint Committee will monitor and plan activities and projects on a considerably wider and more consistent basis. These joint activities will commence with a number of proposed projects on standards.
This includes formulating and managing an International Standards Coordinating Body as well as a number of activities to improve ISO standards for cell therapy and other regenerative medicines. ISCT and ARM will also collaborate on each other’s conference programs, communication and education initiatives specifically related to cell therapy.
“In recent years, cellular therapies have expanded exponentially. This is in terms of scientific discoveries, clinical results and investment, all of which generates enormous opportunities for patients as well as the industry,” said Massimo Dominici, M.D., ISCT President. “This potential requires a collaboration from the top organizations representing the cell therapy community combining pre-clinical research and cell processing with clinical translation and commercialization.
This has the goal to bring together academic and pharmaceutical developments in the field, at the same time respecting and valuing the combined expertise. As a result, it will be critical for ISCT and ARM to work closely together to monitor and drive the cell therapy sector to jointly face the challenges and to realize its full potential in delivering life saving and changing treatments to patients.”
ISCT has also increased its ability to work towards developing consensus between key stakeholders and balancing the interests of industry, academia and regulators by implementing changes in its Global Executive Committee. Dan Weiss, M.D., Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer will be joined by Miguel Forte, M.D., Ph.D. as Chief Commercialization Officer and Karen Nichols, Esq. as Chief Regulatory Officer.
This will provide organizational focus on the key areas required to successfully deliver new cell therapies to patients. “This collaboration between ISCT and ARM will enable academia, regulators and industry to work more closely together than any time in the history of the sector. This is essential for the field to continue to develop, and to bring new value adding propositions for all involved in the sector, and new options for patients,” said Miguel Forte, M.D., PhD Chief Commercialization Officer, ISCT.
“The cell therapy field continues to require ongoing development and intellectual and financial investment globally, especially regarding process development, manufacturing strategies and market access. The opportunities created by this MOU have never been stronger.”
“ARM and ISCT are united by a common goal of advancing innovative cell therapies,” said Morrie Ruffin, ARM Managing Director. “Our further collaboration on various projects streamlines efforts to bring potentially life-saving treatments to patients with current unmet medical needs.”