Bill tabled to regulate longevity and regenerative therapies in the country

HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville.

HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville.


Tribune Chief Reporter


HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville tabled legislation in the House yesterday that would approve and regulate longevity and regeneration therapies in the country.                       

The Longevity and Regenerative Therapies Bill 2024 would repeal and replace the Stem Cell Research and Therapy Act.

The last Christie administration passed stem cell law in 2013; controversy erupted when disgraced fashion mogul Peter Nygard claimed he initiated and helped write the legislation.

Yesterday, Dr Darville noted he was there when the previous law was tabled and passed, but said legislation must adapt to new developments related to health longevity and regenerative therapies.

“As a result of that bold step we took in 2013, a growing number of scien- tists are now recognising The Bahamas as a reputable location for regenerative medicine and fully support our efforts,” he said.

The legislation would empower the minister to present a longevity and regenerative therapy policy, which would be reviewed and updated every two years.

The bill would also establish a board and ethics committee.

The board’s responsibilities would include fostering innovation in the field, obtaining and maintaining resources required to ensure that best practices are upheld in all vivo and ex vivo therapy and research operations and developing policies to monitor compliance with all aspects of the law, among other things.

Any person or entity seeking full or provisional research approval of a therapy can apply to the board with a prescribed fee.

The board would forward the applications to the ethics committee chairperson for approval.

The ethics committee would review the application to determine if the therapy meets all required safety, efficacy and ethics standards and would grant full approval if it is satisfied.

The bill also addresses prohibited acts: no person or entity could abort or attempt to abort a foetus for research purposes, genetically modify a human embryo with the intent of that embryo becoming a living human, test gene therapies on patients without informed consent or purposefully modify the germ line of an adult man.


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