Statement of Support for European Stem Cell Research, 2014

The International Stem Cell Funders Forum Statement – Europe 2014

The International Stem Cell Funders Forum strongly endorses the “Joint Statement Supporting Funding for Stem Cell and Reproductive Health Research in Europe 2014” (http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/About-us/Policy/Spotlight-issues/EU-funding-for-stem-cell-research/index.htm) and the supporting evidence provided therein.

This calls on the European Parliament and European Commission to oppose the ‘One of Us’ Citizens’ Initiative that is seeking a ban on all financing of activities that presuppose the destruction of human embryos, including stem cell research.  Such a ban would have a negative impact on research involving human embryos for regenerative medicine, reproductive health and genetic disease.

The Forum supports stem cell research using human embryonic stem cells, as well as other induced and adult stem cells, within strong ethical and regulatory governance frameworks such as that which exists in Europe. The Forum recognises that it is premature to focus on any one stem cell type, and that research across a broad front is important to moving the entire field toward application and clinical impact. It further notes that human embryonic stem cell research has now reached the stage of clinical testing, with clinical trials commencing or soon to start that may provide important ‘proof of concept’ for the use of pluripotent stem cell-based therapies in delivering regenerative medicine.

Stem cell research offers unique opportunities to develop therapies for a wide variety of currently intractable conditions. The Forum acknowledges that Europe is an important and influential constituent of the international stem cell research community; any restriction of European research will greatly and negatively impact the realisation of these opportunities to improve human health.

Endorsed by the following members and observers of the ISCF, May 2014:

  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • Italian National Institute of Health
  • Medical Research Council, UK
  • Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India
  • National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan
  • National Institute of Health, South Korea
  • National Institutes of Health, USA
  • Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
  • RIKEN, Japan
  • Singapore Biomedical Research Council
  • Stem Cell Network, Canada
  • Swedish Research Council
  • Swiss National Science Foundation

 About the International Stem Cell Funders Forum (ISCF)

The International Stem Cell Forum (ISCF) comprises funders of stem cell research from around the world. It was founded in January 2003 to encourage international collaboration and funding support for stem cell research, with the overall aim of promoting global good practice and accelerating progress in this vitally important area of biomedical science. The Forum’s long-term aim is to help stem cell scientists achieve a range of revolutionary medical advances that will benefit people throughout the world.

For more information:

ISCF Secretariat, c/o Rosario Isasi JD MPH, Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP), Faculty of Medicine, Dpt. of Human Genetics, McGill University

Address: Centre of Genomics and Policy | McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre

740 Dr. Penfield, Suite 5206 | Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0G1

Tel:  +(514) 398-6454 | Fax: +(514) 398-8954

Email:  Rosario.isasi@mcgill.ca

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