PUBLIC LAW 114-104 -- December 18, 2015
Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2015
Prime Sponsor: Mr. Christopher H. Smith (NJ)
H.R. 2820 - Signed by the President on
December 18, 2015
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith’s Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2820) became law in late 2015, authorizing $265 million for cord blood and stem cell research and treatment over five years.
Prime author Smith and lead co-sponsor Rep. Doris Matsui shepherded the bill through the House during the summer of 2015. It passed the Senate Dec. 9 and House Dec. 16, 2015, and was signed into law by the President December 18.
As adopted by both houses of Congress, H.R. 2820 now ensures that the two collaborative programs that support treatment and therapies derived from adult stem cell lines will continue to receive funding through 2020. Under the legislation, the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program will be authorized for five years at $30 million annually, while the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) is authorized at $23 million annually for a five-year period. Smith authored the original law (The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005—P.L. 109-129) that created the national cord blood program and expanded the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.
First passed in 2005, the original legislation established a nationwide integrated bone marrow and cord blood stem cell transplantation program. Stem cells derived from cord blood and bone marrow have been used successfully to treat tens of thousands of patients with such diseases as leukemia, sickle cell anemia and genetic disorders. The enactment of H.R. 2820 will continue to build these donor networks, thus enabling more people to have access to these lifesaving treatments.
It remains one of the best kept secrets in America that umbilical cord blood stem cells and adult stem cells in general are curing people of a myriad of terrible conditions and diseases in adults as well as children. Cord blood, what was once seen as medical waste, is now making miracles.
There are 13 public banks contracted through NCBI, including the New Jersey Cord Blood Bank which collects cord blood from five participating hospitals. The New Jersey Cord Blood Bank, part of Community Blood Services in Montvale, has approximately 7,000 cord blood units in storage and has shipped 300 units to transplant centers for treatment.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) estimates that every year about 12,600 people depend on the programs made available by this law to find an adult marrow donor or cord blood unit for treatment.
Today, Americans have access to more than 12 million adult volunteer donors and 209,000 cord blood units through the national registry, known as “Be The Match.” Transplants involving these adult stem cells are often the only hope for patients battling fatal blood cancers and other bone marrow disorders and conditions. Since the inception of the registry, the Program has successfully facilitated 68,000 transplants.
The new law directs the federal relevant agencies to study the state of science using adult stem cells and birthing tissues to develop new therapies for patients.
Text of the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2015