Battling the virus that causes COVID-19 is something that is top of everyone’s mind right now. That’s why CIRM is funding 17 different projects targeting the virus. But one of the most valuable tools in helping develop vaccines against a wide variety of diseases in the past is now coming under threat. We’ll talk about both issues in a live broadcast we’re holding on Wednesday, October 14th at noon (PDT).
That date is significant because it’s Stem Cell Awareness Day and we thought it appropriate to host a meeting looking at two of the most important issues facing the field.
The first part of the event will focus on the 17 projects that CIRM is funding that target COVID-19. This includes three clinical trials aiming to treat people who have been infected with the virus and are experiencing some of the more severe effects, such as damaged lungs.
We’ll also look at some of the earlier stage research that includes:
- Work to help develop a vaccine
- Using muscle stem cells to help repair damage to the diaphragm in patients who have spent an extended period on a ventilator
- Boosting immune system cells to help fight the virus
The second part of the event will look at ways that funding for stem cell research at the federal level is once again coming into question. The federal government has already imposed new restrictions on funding for fetal tissue research, and now there are efforts in Congress to restrict funding for embryonic stem cell research.
The impacts could be significant. Fetal tissue has been used for decades to help develop some of the most important vaccines used today including rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis A, and shingles. They have also been used to make approved drugs against diseases including hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, and cystic fibrosis.
We’ll look at some of the reasons why we are seeing these potential restrictions on the medical research and what impact they could have on the ability to develop new treatments for the coronavirus and other deadly diseases.
You can watch the CIRM Stem Cell Awareness Day live event by going here: https://www.youtube.com/c/CIRMTV/videos at noon on Wednesday, October 14th.
Feel free to share news about this event with anyone you think might be interested.
We look forward to seeing you there.