CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, December 16, 2015, the House will consider Senate Amendment to H.R.2820, the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 2820 was introduced on June 18, 2015, by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and passed the House by voice vote on September 8, 2015. The Senate passed the bill, with an amendment, on December 9, 2015 by unanimous consent.
H.R. 2820 reauthorizes the National Cord Blood Inventory program and the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation program through fiscal year 2020. These programs support efforts to collect and store blood from umbilical cords and to conduct research and facilitate transplants of bone marrow and blood from umbilical cords. The bill authorizes $23 million per year for the National Cord Blood Inventory program and $30 million per year for the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation program through fiscal year 2020. The bill also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit a report to Congress of the state of the science of using adult stem cells and birthing tissues to develop new types of therapies for patients.
The healthy blood stem cells for a transplant can come from the marrow of a donor or umbilical cord blood that is collected after a baby is born. The blood-forming cells from cord blood have unique qualities that can help some patients who would otherwise be unable to have a potentially life-saving transplant.
The National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) is a program to collect, store, and distribute umbilical cord blood to those in need of a cord blood stem cell transplant. The NCBI also contracts with cord blood centers across the country to ensure access to these life-saving cord blood units. These cord blood units must meet specific criteria and are available through the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program to treat patients who need a transplant. Some of the cord blood units collected under the NCBI are also made available to contractors for scientific research.
The C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program provides support to patients who need a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant or umbilical cord blood transplant. The program helps match donors to patients who need a transplant from an unrelated marrow donor or cord blood unit.
According to the bill sponsor, “this important bipartisan legislation will save more lives. The adult stem cells found in bone marrow and cord blood provide hope not only for curing the diseases and conditions currently known, but they also set the stage for even more cures in the future. Their applicability and use in research for cures for multiple diseases is invaluable–truly a vital life-saving program.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting H.R. 2820 would cost $220 million over the fiscal year 2016 to 2020 period.
For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.