Advanced Cell Technology Announces Support of Federal Stem Cell Legislation Favorable to the Field of Regenerative Medicine
An Historic Opportunity to Support Alternatives for Basic Medical Research
Alameda, CA, July 17, 2006 ” Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (OTCBB: ACTC) announced its support of federal legislation pending before the U.S. Senate and clarified its business plans relating to human embryonic stem cell technology. The proposed stem cell legislation includes *S. 2754, the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act; H. R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005; and S. 3504 the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of 2006*.
*S. 2754* – The stated purpose of this Act is to promote medical research and the development of alternative human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines through new techniques that do not harm a human embryo or fetus. In the October 16, 2005 edition of Nature, Advanced Cell Technology published a method of generating mouse embryonic stem cell lines using an alternative approach that does not interfere with the developmental potential of embryos. The method derived ES cell lines employing a technique similar to that used in the medically accepted pre-implantaion genetic diagnosis (PGD) test for genetic defects. Assuming the passage of S.2754, Advanced Cell Technology believes that this Act would establish a pathway for effective alternative technologies to provide new and safe cell lines to meet the needs of patients and medical researchers.
*H.R. 810* – The company urges support of this legislation. Medical research has firmly demonstrated the potential of human embryonic stem cells to generate a large number of medically useful cell types. Cell lines that were produced prior to August 9, 2001 have been in direct physical contact with contaminated murine feeder cells. Advanced Cell Technology scientists and others have subsequently manufactured new cell lines that given enactment of this legislation would allow researchers utilizing these lines access to federal funding. The federal funding of research on new cell lines produced with proper ethical oversight would speed the day when new safe and efficacious therapies could be produced for many currently untreatable diseases.
“These combined bills (*H.R. 810 and S. 2754*), which includes legislation to remove the current restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, and also promotes research on promising alternative methods for deriving embryonic stem cells, has the potential to provide necessary funding and expedite the development of therapies for millions of Americans,�” said William M. Caldwell, IV, Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Cell Technology. “As a company in the field of regenerative medicine, we ask the Senate and President Bush to consider the significance of this legislation and fully support embryonic stem cell research.”
“We believe that a significant commitment of federal support would considerably accelerate this research and its likely success within this decade,” said Michael D. West, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Advanced Cell Technology. “In addition, federal funding of research in regenerative medicine benefits society in the many checks and balances already put in place within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to insure that such research is carried out in an ethical manner.”
* S. 3504* – Some advocacy groups opposed to the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research have misrepresented the research and the intentions of Advanced Cell Technology in regard to the use of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) in medicine. In previous scientific publications available on the company’s website “www.advancedcell.com”:http://www.advancedcell.com (including Nature Biotechnology in 2002 and in Circulation Research in 2004), the company has consistently announced its intent to comply with international standards of SCNT, and the recommendations of our Ethics Advisory Board, wherein embryonic cells produced by SCNT are cultured no more than 14 days, well before the beginnings of human cellular differentiation. In testimony before the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies of the Senate Committee on Appropriations on December 4, 2001, Ronald M. Green, head of Dartmouth’s Department of Religion, director of its Ethics Institute, and Chair of Advanced Cell Technology’s Ethics Advisory Board testified that, “Following international guidelines, ACT’s EAB laid down strict rules for the handling of these organisms, including the requirement that none be allowed to develop beyond fourteen days”.
The employees of Advanced Cell Technology urge their representatives in the U.S. Congress to support the passage of *H.R. 810 S. 2754 and S. 3504*. In the five years since the President first set policy on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, it has become increasingly clear that human embryonic stem cells offer great promise in the treatment of a host of currently incurable diseases. The majority of Americans, members of the National Academy of Sciences, physicians in the American Medical Association, and many other public interest groups have voiced their view that this technology is right for America. Advanced Cell Technology share this view and urge Congress to help researchers in the United States lead the world in the important new field of regenerative medicine.
*Note to Editors: William M. Caldwell, CEO, and Michael D. West, Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Scientific Officer; are available immediately to comment or address any specific questions related to embryonic stem cell research as it pertains to the legislation being debated. Please contact Noelle Gambill, Chad Griffin Consulting, (805) 252-3922.*
About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a biotechnology company applying embryonic stem cell technology in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The company operates facilities in Alameda, California and Worcester, Massachusetts. For more information about the company, please visit: http://www.advancedcell.com.
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