A Statement from Robert Klein, Chairman of the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine On the Vote by the U.S. Senate on Legislation that Directly Impacts Progress of Stem Cell Research in the U.S

SAN FRANCISCO, July 18, 2006—Robert Klein, Chairman of the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee for the California Institute for the Regenerative Medicine, today issued this statement:

Passage of HR 810 represents an historic moment for patients and their families. Congress has affirmed of the will of the American public that complements California’s decisive action in passing Proposition 71 almost two years ago. Today’s vote demonstrates that the majority of people support stem cell research and realize this science holds great promise for potential treatments in the future.

I applaud the leadership of Senators Frist and Reid for bringing this vote forward, and the advocacy and co-authorship of Senators Feinstein, Hatch, Specter, Kennedy, Boxer, Smith, Harkin and other courageous Senators. I also commend the passion of patient advocacy organizations around the country, including the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, and individuals such as Nancy Reagan, who continue to be very persuasive in their communications about the importance of funding stem cell science. We urge the President to follow California’s example in moving a new more expansive stem cell research funding program into law.

Thanks to the vision of California voters, we are already implementing strict regulations for governing the research that incorporate the strongest medical and ethical standards in the country, developed in cooperation with the National Academies of Science, and committing millions of dollars to the most meritorious stem cell research. California continues to lead the way—we hope our nation’s leaders will join us.

Contact: Nicole Pagano: 415/396-9132
  Michelle Vega: 916/442-2331