With the broader BIO 2012 Convention in Boston as the backdrop, HSCI co-sponsored with the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine a more focused meeting: "Clinical Outlooks for Regenerative Medicine." The June event at the Schepens Starr Center featured a noon keynote by HSCI Executive Committee member George Daley, MD, PhD, and was attended by approximately 150 members of the pharmaceutical, biotech, disease foundation, venture capital and scientific research communities.
Of great attraction to the attendees was the breadth of the program. Panels on ophthalmology, metabolic, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and tissue engineering topics presented the latest research trends and data on clinical applications for cellular therapies. While the promise for such therapies is great, caution was advised — in each disease sphere — while trials proceed and efforts to increase scalability are advanced. Indeed, in his keynote remarks, George Daley offered a sobering reflection on the dangers of stem cell tourism and the need for a balanced, pragmatic approach to both drug and cellular therapies.
Participants also lauded the program for its focus on the smaller players in the biotechnology community — in fact, one guest noted that his company felt "lost" at the massive BIO convention but that this program was perfectly suited to his company's needs. The organizers capitalized on the significant clinical talent in the HSCI community to attest to the value and utility of the therapeutic efforts currently in or nearing trial phase.
HSCI is pleased to partner with organizations seeking to advance the efforts of our research community in order to speed discoveries to therapeutic application. The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (www.alliancerm.org) is a Washington, DC-based organization that promotes legislative, regulatory and reimbursement initiatives necessary to facilitate access to advances in regenerative medicine and works to increase public understanding of the field.