Highlights Include Keynote by Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. John Gurdon
New York, March 21, 2013 — The Stem for Life Foundation, NeoStem, Inc. (NYSE MKT:NBS), The Pontifical Council for Culture, and STOQ International today released details on the program of The Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference: Regenerative Medicine – A Fundamental Shift in Science & Culture, taking place from within The Vatican, April 11-13, 2013.
This event is part of a five-year collaboration between The Stem for Life Foundation, a not-for-profit organization devoted to raising global awareness of the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells, NeoStem, a leader in the emerging cellular therapy industry, The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and its foundation, called STOQ International (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest).
“Regenerative medicine is poised to revolutionize disease management by finding new ways to boost the body’s ability to heal itself. Whereas today, treatment for many diseases is a matter of managing symptoms, regenerative medicine seeks to reverse the course of the disease by targeting its cause and repairing diseased or defective tissues or organs,” said Dr. Robin Smith, President of The Stem for Life Foundation and CEO of NeoStem. “This conference brings together a notable group of adult stem cell researchers, educators, policy experts, ethicists, patients, and religious officials.”
The goals of the 2013 Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference are to:
- Foster an open dialogue amongst researchers, physicians, philanthropists, faith leaders and policy-makers in order to help identify clear, unmet medical needs throughout the world that can be addressed through the development of cellular therapies that will reduce human suffering.
- Expand global awareness of the here-and-now opportunities of adult stem cell therapies, reducing misperceptions surrounding the field of cellular research.
- Lay the groundwork for a collaborative network of scientists, educators and patrons who embrace the promise of adult stem cells, creating an array of subsequent educational events at leading universities and institutions throughout the world, inspiring the next generation of cellular researchers.
The conference will be moderated by Meredith Vieira from NBC News, Bill Hemmer from The Fox News Channel, and Dr. Max Gomez from WCBS-TV. Highlights of the conference will include:
- Hope for the future of adult stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis (“MS”), featuring Richard M. Cohen, journalist and husband of Ms. Vieira, Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University, Dr. Saud Sadiq of the MS Research Center of New York, and multiple sclerosis patients who participated in clinical trials and have been successfully treated with adult stem cells. We will also take a look at Tcelna™, Opexa Therapeutics (Nasdaq:OPXA) T-cell immunotherapy in development for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
- Keynote speech by Dr. John Gurdon, 2012 Nobel Prize Winner for Physiology or Medicine for his work on transforming adult cells into stem cells.
- Overview of contemporary stem cell transplants and current research for the treatment of cancer and osteogenesis imperfecta with field experts, featuring Dr. Edwin Horwitz of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (UPENN), Dr. Stephen Nimer of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Dr. Amitabha Mazumder of the NYU Clinical Cancer Center.
- An in-depth look at many of the companies, such as NeoStem, Athersys (Nasdaq:ATHX), and Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) (USOTC:MBLTY), making progress in developing adult stem cell therapies for cardiovascular disease.
- A dynamic panel on the politics, perceptions and promise of cell therapies, moderated by Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal and featuring former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and Governor, Tommy G. Thompson, former U.S. Senator, Norm Coleman, former member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, William Hurlbut, and University College London Professor of Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing, Chris Mason.
- Sessions on developments in cellular therapies for organ and tissue repair and diabetes, as well as on the potential to use stem cells to treat traumatic brain injury and other neurodegenerative diseases. We will discuss differences among adult stem cells and learn about exciting work on the potential to use placental stem cells to treat autoimmune diseases.
- We will hear from Dr. Robert Preti, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Progenitor Cell Therapy (PCT), on how to turn an adult stem cell into a therapy.
- The story of Osiris Therapeutics’ (Nasdaq: OSIR) successful approval of an adult stem cell therapy in Canada and elsewhere for graft-vs-host disease, Prochymal®, with Osiris CEO, Dr. C. Randal Mills.
- There will also be discussion about education, faith, and science with respect to a future with cellular therapy by Dr. Phillip Sloan (University of Notre Dame) and Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, O.P. (Providence College), as well as discussion around the social and cultural considerations by Dr. Malik Hasan, Founder of Qual-Med, consideration of the moral and ethical implications of adult stem cell research, and consideration of how to prepare the future generation of leaders and scholars by Dr. Anthony J. Cernera, President of the Center for Interreligious Understanding.
- Panel discussions will look at the new frontiers of cellular research pertaining to stem cells, health, longevity and epigenetics. We will examine the ties between stem cell health and aging and hear from experts in the field, including Dr. Vincent Giampapa (University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey), Dr. Ronald DePinho (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center), Dr. Wayne A. Marasco (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), and Dr. Mariusz Z. Ratajczak (University of Louisville). Dr. Valter Longo (University of Southern California, Davis), Dr. Jaime Guevara-Aguirre (Institute of Endocrinology, Quito, Ecuador), and Dr. Nir Barzilai (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) will look at fascinating case studies on longevity and disease resistance, including a unique look at ‘Laron dwarfs’ and their absence of cancer and chronic disease.
Some corporate sponsors of the conference include NeoStem, Mesoblast, Celgene (Nasdaq:CELG), Opexa Therapeutics, Lowenstein Sandler, Aspire Capital Partners, Kenyon & Kenyon, and the Maxim Group. Major support also comes from philanthropists who believe in the promise of adult stem cells. To learn more about The Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference please visit www.adultstemcellconference.org .
About The Pontifical Council for Culture
The Pontifical Council for Culture is that Dicastery of the Roman Curia which assists the Pope in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the benefit and service of the universal Church and of particular Churches concerning the encounter between the saving message of the Gospel and cultures, in the study of the weighty phenomena of the rift between the Gospel and cultures; indifference in matters of religion; unbelief. It is also concerned with relationships between the Church and the Holy See and the world of culture; in particular it promotes dialogue with contemporary cultures, so that human civilization may become increasingly open to the Gospel, and so that men and women of science, letters and the arts may know that the Church acknowledges their work as a service to truth, goodness and beauty. www.cultura.va
About STOQ International
STOQ International is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization operating in the U.S. for the purpose of creating important dialogue between the Church and contemporary culture, which is strongly shaped by scientific advancements.
Its aim is to change the debate in the arena of ideas related to Theology, Philosophy and present-day Science, through supporting and encouraging scientific research, educational programs and cultural initiatives. The alliance of experts from the disciplines of science, theology and philosophy that form the STOQ Project provokes a renewal of thinking about God and man, creation and providence. STOQ International wants thus to challenge the public perception of the relationship between the Church tradition and science, and we prove the compatibility of faith and reason in the pursuit of knowledge.
The purpose of STOQ is to endorse and conduct an interdisciplinary dialogue in order to build a culture that promotes the full dignity of humanity. The main mission of STOQ is to build a bridge between science and theology, providing for their positive impact on contemporary society, as well as to support studies through joint research projects, conferences and educational & cultural enterprises.
To know more about STOQ, please visit: www.stoqinternational.com
About The Stem for Life Foundation
The Stem for Life Foundation (SFLF) is dedicated to improving the quality of life of millions of people suffering from dozens of painful and sometimes debilitating medical conditions by providing information and updates about adult stem cell research, therapy development and possible healthcare applications. SFLF focuses on educating the public, convening the best minds in adult stem cell medicine and research, supporting clinical research, and subsidizing adult stem cell collection and storage for those who need it most.
Understanding that adult stem cell research could lead to better treatments and possibly cures for chronic disease, as well as reduce health care costs and improve quality of life for those with chronic disease and disability, SFLF was established in 2007. SFLF’s Board of Trustees and staff are deeply committed to expediting development of stem cell therapies that offer real hope to individuals suffering from a wide-range of life-threatening medical conditions.
For more information on the Stem for Life Foundation, please visit www.stemforlife.org
About NeoStem, Inc.
NeoStem, Inc. (the “Company”) is a leader in the emerging cellular therapy industry. Our business model includes the development of novel proprietary cell therapy products as well as operating a contract development and manufacturing organization (“CDMO”) providing services to others in the regenerative medicine industry. The combination of a therapeutic development business and revenue-generating service provider business provides the Company with capabilities for cost effective in-house product development and immediate revenue and cash flow generation.