Cord Blood Association Retains Sidley Austin

CBA retains lobbying firmExperts in health care policy will help guide legislative and regulatory advocacy

The CBA Board of Directors has unanimously agreed to hire a government relations firm to help the association advance its legislative and regulatory agenda.

A contract has been awarded to Sidley Austin, a highly regarded law firm with offices in international capitals such as Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington.

CBA’s legislative agenda for the United States includes the re-authorization of the expiring Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2010 and the C. W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program, and revisions in FDA licensure requirements.

21st Century Cures

Sidley Austin has already swung into action, helping CBA leaders prepare a statement on cord blood licensure and regulation that was submitted to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee in April. The committee is holding hearings on ways to accelerate the pace of health care innovation in America by closing gaps between advances in scientific knowledge about cures and government regulations intended to enhance and save lives.

The committee’s “21st Century Cures” initiative is a review of the full arc of the medical innovation process – from basic science, to drug and device regulation, to delivery of treatments. Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), working with Sidley Austin staff, submitted CBA statements on licensing procedures and regulations that are detrimental to innovation and to the expansion of cord blood inventories, especially for minorities.

Cord Blood Cell Experience

The Sidley Austin team includes staff who spearheaded congressional work on the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 and its reauthorization in 2010. The act established the National Cord Blood Inventory.

CBA is working closely with members of Congress and organizations such as the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) on the reauthorization of the act.

Sidley Austin’s government strategies team will be helping CBA with an array of health care and biotechnology public policy needs. The firm will be monitoring legislative and regulatory issues on CBA’s behalf, and helping to create coalitions of stakeholders with common interests for effective advocacy.