ISCT transitions to a virtual conference amidst coronavirus concerns

Written by Alexander Marshall

The International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT; BC, Canada) has decided to alter their globally attended conference (27—30 May 2020, Paris, France) to a virtual conference amidst coronavirus concerns.

The International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT; BC, Canada) has taken the decision to reorganize their annual meeting into a virtual conference rather than a physical event. Originally due to take place in Paris (France) over 3 days, 27—30 May, the event is traditionally one of the highlights of the regenerative medicine field’s year, offering vast opportunities for networking and collaboration as well as fascinating talks.

As coronavirus has spread around the world, the organizers of ISCT have taken the decision to produce a remote platform for their attendees to engage with over the 3 days, ensuring the safety of their members. The team is also reviewing various options for facilitating networking opportunities to ensure that the conference offers the maximum benefit to its attendees despite the pandemic.

“Given the uncertainty of when it might again be safe to bring together our large global community, during this rapidly evolving pandemic, pursuing the potential for a virtual meeting during the dates scheduled for our in-person meeting this year in Paris is the only responsible action we can take at this time for all stakeholders including delegates, speakers, exhibitors/sponsors, investors and young professionals looking forward to this event,” explained a spokesperson from ISCT.

The change of approach comes the same week that ISCT released a statement warning against unproven stem cell treatments being marketed for COVID-19. Reinforcing a strong opposition to the utilization of unproven cell-based therapies, ISCT has urged individuals to seek expert medical advice from licensed professionals and to obtain the best available information before any treatments.

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ISCT provides several resources to enable patients to protect themselves and establish the legitimate uses of cell and gene-based therapies

“The International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy strongly opposes the irresponsible offering of unproven cell-based interventions, especially in the context of such a serious pandemic.

We urge affected individuals and families to speak with expert medical professionals to obtain the most accurate available information,” concluded a spokesperson from ISCT.

An email statement released by ISCT stated: “Above the professional commitments that we hold, we have families and loved ones that we must care for. There are drastic shifts in our daily lives to deal with. At the same time we seek to maintain some level of productivity, normality and composure.  Each of us is being called upon to make choices to safeguard the wellbeing of those around us. Please monitor your own welfare and seek assistance when needed.”


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