The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), the national voice for regenerative medicine, has announced the introduction of the Regenerative Medicine Act of 2011 (H.R. 1862) in the U.S. House of Representatives and expressed appreciation for the efforts of its lead sponsors, Reps. Brian P. Bilbray (R-CA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO).
"Regenerative medicine represents the single most promising new approach to mitigating the human and economic costs of disease and could change the course of human health," said Gil Van Bokkelen, PhD, Chairman of ARM. "Medical innovation and economic growth are important to all of us, regardless of our political affiliation, and we are grateful to our lead sponsors, Reps. Bilbray and DeGette, for making this bill a bipartisan effort."
The field of regenerative medicine is of national significance because of its acknowledged potential to cure or dramatically diminish the effects of many serious and economically burdensome conditions - including diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease, cancer and traumatic injury - by harnessing the restorative properties of living cells and tissues.
"Regenerative medicine offers hope for millions of Americans living with debilitating conditions or diseases," said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). "By establishing national priorities and coordination of federal agencies around regenerative medicine, this Act paves the way for our families to benefit from breakthrough scientific developments, secures a leading role for the US in the global medical economy of the future, and creates possibilities for new solutions to the healthcare financing crisis."
Major provisions of the bill include creation of a multi-agency Regenerative Medicine Coordinating Council within the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS); establishing grant programs to accelerate the availability of life-saving regenerative medicine therapies and research tools; funding of critical regulatory research at the Food & Drug Administration (FDA); and a detailed assessment of federal activities in regenerative medicine as well as progress compared to national programs in other countries.
"Multiple federal agencies fund or conduct regenerative medicine research and recognize its promise to transform medical care," said Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-CA). "A coordinated effort, such as the one outlined in the bill introduced today, will allow us to advance toward innovative, life-saving therapies and create the regulatory infrastructure necessary to encourage private investment in promising regenerative medicine research," added Mr. Bilbray.
"Dovetailing with this bill, ARM has outlined a national strategy for regenerative medicine and is seeking rapid implementation of these programs," said Michael Werner, Esq., Executive Director of ARM.
"To date, ARM has met with members of the Obama Administration, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), and members of Congress to further define and promote adoption of this proposed strategy," added Mr. Werner.