ISCT, ARM Foundation, and ARM joint-host COVID-19 cell therapy treatment online event, July 7, 2020

By ISCT Head Office posted 07-07-2020 00:00


Vancouver, Canada, July 7, 2020 - The International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT), the global society of clinicians, researchers, regulators, technologists, and industry partners dedicated to the translation of cellular therapy into safe and effective therapies to improve patients’ lives; The ARM Foundation for Cell and Gene Medicine, an independent organization founded by ARM and dedicated to providing the education, information, and research needed to accelerate patient awareness of and access to transformative therapies; and The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), the international advocacy organization for the cell and gene therapy and broader regenerative medicine sector today announce they are jointly hosting a free online event entitled “Potential COVID-19 Treatments Using Cell Therapies".

The event will be held on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020, 8:30am PDT, 11:30am EDT, 4.30pm BST, 5.30pm CEST.

In the 75 minute webinar, six leading experts in the cell and gene therapy sector will take an expert look at the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat COVID-19. This webinar is moderated by ISCT Chief Scientific Officer Daniel J. Weiss, who has previously presented a two-part CSO Spotlight on COVID-19 during the ISCT 2020 Paris virtual meeting. The event will include discussions around potential cell therapy applications for treatment of COVID-19. This includes the scientific background and experience to date, regulatory ethics, and controversial issues, including a growth in offerings of unproven therapies.

The event is intended for all those involved and interested in the application of cell and gene therapy approaches, particularly utilizing mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to developed COVID-19 therapies. The event will be a resource linked to the CSO Spotlight Sessions on COVID-19 at the ISCT Annual Meeting 2020, which took place on May 28 and 29, 2020. Together these sessions will provide a strategic and multi-layered perspective on what needs to be done to successfully deploy these treatments safely for COVID-19 patients.

The event has been designed in three parts:

Part one will cover the science as well as the potential therapeutic benefits of cell therapies for COVID-19 complications. This part will be hosted by Daniel Weiss, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Scientific Officer, International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT), Professor, University of Vermont School of Medicine.

Part two will detail what patients and patient groups should understand about these therapies. This clinical perspective will be discussed by Michael Matthay, M.D. , Professor of Medicine, UC San Francisco and Carolyn Hendrickson, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, Medicine, UC San Francisco.

Finally, part three will cover the ethical and safety concerns for companies and clinics promoting therapies outside of a recognized regulatory process or prior to the conclusion of a clinical trial. This part will be discussed by Laertis Ikonomou, Ph.D., Chair, ISCT Presidential Task Force on the Use of Unproven and/or Unethical Cell & Gene Therapy; Associate Professor, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Patricia Zettler J.D., Associate Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and Mike Lehmicke, Director, Scientific & Industry Affairs, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM).

“The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing globally, and so far has resulted in massive repercussions in both healthcare and longer term economic impacts. It is critical to develop suitable therapies, tests and vaccines to tackle this worldwide problem. Cell and gene therapies have enormous potential to provide therapeutic options for COVID-19, and there is an urgent need to summarise where we are today in developing these therapies,” said Daniel J. Weiss, Chief Scientific Officer, ISCT. “This event, hosted by both ISCT and ARM, will be a thorough summary of the sector’s achievements to date, as well as where future efforts need to be concentrated to develop these much needed therapies. It is critical that this event covers the scientific aspects of the research and development, as well as the patient perspective and the ethics around unproven treatments.”

About the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy

Established in 1992, the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) is a global society of clinicians, regulators, researchers, technologists and industry partners with a shared vision to translate cellular and gene therapy into safe and effective therapies to improve patients’ lives worldwide.

ISCT is the global leader focused on pre-clinical and translational aspects of developing cell and gene-based therapeutics, thereby advancing scientific research into innovative treatments for patients. ISCT offers a unique collaborative environment that addresses three key areas of translation: Academia, Regulatory and Commercialization. Through strong relationships with global regulatory agencies, academic institutions and industry partners, ISCT drives the advancement of research into standard of care.

Comprised of over 2,300 cell and gene therapy experts across five geographic regions and representation from over 60 countries, ISCT members are part of a global community of peers, thought leaders and organizations invested in cell and gene therapy translation. For more information about the society, key initiatives and upcoming meetings, please visit:, @ISCTglobal.

About The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine

The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) is an international multi-stakeholder advocacy organization that promotes legislative, regulatory, and reimbursement initiatives necessary to facilitate access to life-giving advances in regenerative medicine worldwide. ARM also works to increase public understanding of the field and its potential to transform human healthcare, providing business development and investor outreach services to support the growth of its member companies and research organizations. Prior to the formation of ARM in 2009, there was no advocacy organization operating in Washington, D.C. to specifically represent the interests of the companies, research institutions, investors, and patient groups that comprise the entire regenerative medicine community. Today, ARM has more than 350 members and is the leading global advocacy organization in this field. To learn more about ARM or to become a member, visit

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