American Society of Hematology

Obama Administration Unveils Bioeconomy Blueprint, Calls for Acceleration of Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Research for Treatment of Blood Diseases

Published on: May 01, 2012

The White House released a “Bioeconomy Blueprint” last week outlining an approach to harness innovations and address national challenges in health, food, energy and the environment. The Blueprint is designed to guide work among federal agencies and with the private-sector to enhance economic growth, job creation, and innovation.

In concert with the Blueprint release, a number of federal agency commitments supportive of the Blueprint’s goals were made public. Among them are initiatives to encourage federal procurement of an expanded range of bio-based products; take better advantage of large pharmaceutical data sets to speed drug development; apply the latest genomics discoveries to quickly identify emerging microbial threats; and accelerate research on non-embryonic stem cells as possible treatments for blood-related and neurological diseases.

Specifically, one of the commitments states that the NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine and its partners are exploring the development of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell therapies to treat blood-related diseases such as leukemia and that the researchers will investigate whether iPS cells can be used to develop blood products that could help meet the demand for blood transfusions during medical emergencies and surgeries. Please see page 18 of the Bioeconomy Blueprint and page 2 of the commitments document for more information.

The Bioeconomy Blueprint and the federal agency commitments that will help implement it are consistent with the ASH Agenda for Hematology Research, a strategic plan that the Society recently released, which identifies the most promising areas of research that require ongoing support.

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