The year 2020 has shown us no shortage of unexpected changes, from isolation to sanitizing our groceries. The approval of Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccine provided a near-unanimous sigh of relief after months of collectively battling the COVID-19 virus. Looking forward, how will we use this momentum to address the myriad of other diseases awaiting new forms of treatment?
California has harnessed some of this momentum with the passage of Proposition 14 in the most recent election, authorizing more funding for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. Researchers will use the funding to develop more cellular therapies aimed at treating cancer, respiratory diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and more. This is a huge step in the right direction for science as these are all difficult to manage conditions that can be severely life-altering for some.
“Over the past decade, California has made incredibly thoughtful and impactful investments in developing stem cell therapies and cures for diseases and conditions like diabetes, cancer, blindness, Parkinson’s, paralysis and many more; now we know this progress and work to mitigate human suffering, restore health and improve the human condition will continue,” said Robert and Danielle Klein, Chairs of Californians for Stem Cell Research, Treatments and Cures.
Cell and gene therapies have shown to be promising treatments for the above-mentioned conditions but more research is needed to transfer the results seen in animal models to humans. Moving forward, we should not reserve our support for these innovative therapies. No individual is immune to developing these conditions as they can happen to anyone. California must keep pushing to ensure new research and development of biotechnology treatments does not fall through the cracks; we must believe in the future of medicine.