Though stem cells and other regenerative medicine techniques hold enormous promise, they also face an equally large set of obstacles, ranging from research funding to reimbursement
Last summer, a collection of manufacturers and supporters formed an organization to address these issues, the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, which is now beginning to take shape.
In September, the Alliance held its first official meeting and appointed executive officers. John Walker, CEO of stem cell company iPierian (San Francisco), will chair the organization. Charter members include Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc. as well as research institutes, foundations, venture capital firms and makers of regenerative treatments.
The overall goal is to lobby for favorable policies in three areas: research, regulation and reimbursement. One aim is to ensure that researchers can gain access to funding, says Michael Werner, executive director at the Alliance and a partner at law firm Holland & Knight in Washington.