House Introduces Bill on Regenerative Medicine

May 18, 2011

On May 12, 2011, a bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives to launch a national strategy for the development of regenerative medicines.

The bill, cosponsored by Reps. Brian P. Bilbray (R-CA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), is called the Regenerative Medicine Promotion Act of 2011, and seeks to establish funding priorities for research and development of regenerative medicine products, and to develop a regulatory environment to ensure rapid approval of safe and effective products.

The bill calls for a report to be issued by the Comptroller General to identify all ongoing Federal programs regarding regenerative medicine, and for the establishment of a Regenerative Medicine Coordinating Council. The Council’s function would be to prepare a national strategy to support regenerative medicine research and development, and to prioritize funding for such activities.

The bill also sets up several grant programs through the National Institutes of Health to fund research and development, including grants for academic or nonprofit groups, grants for academic-industry collaboration, and grants for private companies through the existing Cures Acceleration Network.

Finally, the bill authorizes funding for FDA research on regulatory pathways for regenerative medicine products. In a press release issued by the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, Rep. Diana DeGette states, “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.”