Monday, September 24, 2012

CIRM Sponsoring Online Session with FDA on Thursday

One of the lesser known activities of the California stem cell agency is webinars that put researchers together with the folks who make the federal decisions about whether stem cell research will be turned into therapies.

One of those sessions is coming up on Thursday, and it is not too late for scientists and other interested parties to get on board.

Writing on the stem cell agency's blog, Cynthia Schaffer, CIRM's contract administrator and compliance officer had this to say today about the webinars.
“The FDA very graciously donates their time to speak on these webinars because they too have pledged to maintain an active dialogue with the industry and provide education on their regulatory expectations for product development in the regenerative medicine field. CIRM science officer Kevin Whittlesey recently wrote a paper with Celia Witten of the FDA about the role of the FDA in reaching out to regenerative medicine community, including webinars such as these. 
“In that paper they point out that the communication goes both ways:
“'Appropriate regulation requires a strong understanding of the latest scientific developments to meet current and future regulatory needs and challenges.'
“So the FDA benefits by learning from the other speakers in the webinar – what is the current state of the technology, what are investigator’s current thoughts on best practices and the latest research findings, etc. They also learn what the industry is facing by listening to the questions asked and the discussion of the challenges during the Q&A sessions. A group of FDA employees attend each of these CIRM sponsored webinars, and the wide variety of other workshops and meetings that CIRM hosts throughout the year.”  

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this item incorrectly identified Cynthia Schaffer as Cynthia Adams.)

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