Congressman Tom Lantos (D-San Francisco, San Mateo) speaking from the laboratories of VistaGen Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, affirmed his support of the expansion of stem cell research using human embryos that would otherwise become medical waste. Lantos also applauded the efforts and dedication of employees and investors of stem cell research based VistaGen for their success in helping California and the United States maintain its leadership position in stem cell research.
Following a tour of the company’s stem cell research labs Lantos remarked, “VistaGen is a promising venture-stage biopharmaceutical company, and the Peninsula is fortunate to be its home base. The work being done in the labs here could help bring the world new drugs for treating diabetes and disorders of the central nervous system. With the funding anticipated under California’s Proposition 71 and perhaps with additional federal support, the investment opportunities for companies like VistaGen could improve, expanding the local employment opportunities in this field.”
Dr. Ralph Snodgrass, President and CEO of VistaGen said, “When I founded VistaGen seven years ago, I had a vision that some day the world would recognize that embryonic stem cells had the potential to provide a superior means of efficiently discovering and developing new therapies for some of the world’s most devastating diseases. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our employees, visionary investors, and strategic partners, we have persevered and expect to have products in clinical trials late next year, even in a very difficult financing environment. Now with the support of Congressman Lantos, and other government officials, the availability of funding through California’s Proposition 71, and the potential increase in federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, I am optimistic that there will be increased funding available enabling us to develop and expand these technologies and achieve that vision.”