The International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT), today affirms its commitment to the members and companies represented by ISCT in view of recent political changes worldwide. In particular, multiple executive orders recently issued by the US President threaten to restrict the freedom of our members, colleagues, patients, and care providers to travel freely in and out of the US.
ISCT strongly opposes any policies that restrict the dissemination of scientific information, since such action threatens the foundation of scientific practice, which is to openly share thoughts and ideas.
As an international society comprising clinicians, regulators, researchers, technologists and industry partners from approximately 50 countries dedicated to the translation of cellular therapies for the benefit of patients worldwide, it is the responsibility of ISCT to represent the critical interests of all members regardless of geographical location. ISCT can only maintain its mission by academic collaboration, exchange of ideas, partnerships between companies, and sharing of regulatory frameworks. Delivery of cell therapies to patients requires the unimpeded movement of those involved, from leaders in the field to postdoctoral scholars vital for research and the international movement of patients for research and clinical trials.
The US plays an essential part in cell therapy research as a leading country in the life science industry. It hosts the highest number of international conferences, critical for scientific collaboration and sharing of ideas. It also contains the biggest international cell therapy investor group, the most influential regulators, and the largest number of companies developing and supporting the sector. ISCT believes that this position can only be maintained when the entire cell therapy sector has the freedom to collaborate internationally and especially with the US. Therefore, ISCT views any policies that would prevent the free movement of properly credentialed scientists, patients, care givers and/or their families from entering the US, as significantly harmful to the sharing of key scientific findings and the ability to deliver cell therapy to all patients.
“As a global organization, ISCT has a mandate to promote cell therapy. It is apolitical and will always remain so,” said Catherine Bollard, MBChB, MD, ISCT President. “However, ISCT’s decision to oppose the recent executive orders that impede the free exchange of ideas and movement of members of the cell therapy community is based on our fundamental mission to drive the translation of all cellular therapies for the benefit of patients worldwide.”