ALLEA endorses “Statement Supporting Funding for Stem Cell and Reproductive Health Research in Europe 2014”

ALLEA supports a joint statement drafted by the Wellcome Trust regarding the funding for Stem Cell and Reproductive Health Research in Europe. The statement calls on the European Parliament and European Commission to oppose an initiative seeking a ban on all financing of activities related to stem cell research, including research on regenerative medicine, reproductive health and genetic disease.

2013_11_7_stemcellThe views expressed in the statement coincide with the recommendation of a recent ALLEA position on “Patentability and Research Funding relating to embryonic Stem Cells”, prepared by the Permanent Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights in October 2013 and approved by all but two ALLEA member academies. The Wellcome Trust led joint statement has until today been endorsed by 76 partner organisations all across Europe, including  patient groups, research funders, academies and learned societies, universities and industry groups.

The statement seeks to maintain the provisions of the current framework for funding stem cell research in Horizon 2020: “Horizon 2020 allows ground breaking and important research using all forms of stem cells, subject to it meeting fundamental ethical principles. Any roll back of this agreement would be a major step backwards for research across regenerative medicine, reproductive health, genetic disease and delay the development of much needed treatments for a host of untreatable conditions.”

Click here to download the full statement.

Over the last years, the ALLEA working group on Intellectual Property Rights has issued three statements on stem cell research, particularly regarding the patentability and funding regulations, which explicitly underlined that a lack of patent protection in the area of embryonic stem cell research could negatively affect the investment in developing therapeutics based on human pluripotent embryonic stem cells. ALLEA has repeatedly raised serious concerns towards a possible cut down of funding in this field of research.

For download of the previous statements, background documents and further information on the topic please click here.