US President Donald Trump issued an executive order on January 27 that limited immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, halted refugee admission for 120 days, and barred all Syrian refugees.
Last Friday , a judge in Seattle suspended implementation of the order after lawyers representing Washington and Minnesota argued it was unconstitutional and discriminatory.
In response, Trump criticized the presiding judge and vowed to have the order reinstated. However, at the time of writing, nothing has been decided.
If reinstated, the travel restrictions will negatively impact the cell therapy sector according to the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) – a Canada-based group representing doctors, regulators, researchers and industry – which raised concerns in a statement today.
“The US plays an essential part in cell therapy research as a leading country in the life science industry. It hosts the highest number of international conferences, critical for scientific collaboration and sharing of ideas.”
The ISCT also highlighted the leading roles US investors and the FDA play in shaping the global cell therapy sector and warned against any regulations that restrict international collaboration.
“ISCT views any policies that would prevent the free movement of properly credentialed scientists, patients, care givers and/or their families from entering the US, as significantly harmful to the sharing of key scientific findings and the ability to deliver cell therapy to all patients.”
ISCT President Catherine Bollard told us “The Executive Order may result in a loss of talented researchers being able to come and work in the US to develop cell therapeutics given how much the US relies on foreign talent in the research and development sector.”
She also suggested that some “researchers returning to their country of origin because they do not feel comfortable continuing to live in the US.”
Bollard confirmed that ISCT has one member from a country covered by the executive order.
Image: Michael Vadon / WikiCommons