05-03-2011, 09:28 PM
let's go for clinical trials, the sooner the better.
CIRM: California stem cell funding institute may fund clinical trial
By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
May 3, 2011, 4:29 p.m.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine may reach a milestone of sorts Wednesday when its governing board will vote on whether to fund a clinical trial involving a therapy derived from stem cells. It would be a first for CIRM, which was created with the passage of Proposition 71 to invest $3 billion in stem cell research over 10 years.
In its early years, the state agency focused on giving money to scientists working on the basics of stem cell biology, but CIRM spokesman Don Gibbons told Booster Shots that funding a clinical trial "follows the strategic plan laid out in 2006." That plan called on the agency to "support and advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine ... for the discovery and development of cures, therapies, diagnostics and research technologies to relieve human suffering from chronic disease and injury."
If the grant goes through, it may also be one more demonstration of a recent emphasis at CIRM on funding closer-to-fruition research that might get treatments to market.
"If we went 10 years and had no clinical treatments, it would be a failure," the institute's president, Alan Trounson, told the Los Angeles Times in 2010.
05-04-2011, 12:01 AM
Another example of the great things CIRM is doing for SCI
05-04-2011, 12:28 AM
Fingers are crossed in San Diego!
05-04-2011, 03:37 PM
May 04, 2011
The Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the State Stem Cell Agency, approved a $25 million award to support the first FDA-approved clinical trial based on cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. The award to Menlo Park-based Geron, Corp, will support the company’s on-going early phase trial for people with spinal cord injury. This is the first time the agency, which was created by the passage of proposition 71 in 2004, has funded a human clinical trial testing a stem cell-derived therapy.
“Supporting the Geron trial is a landmark step for CIRM,” said Robert Klein, CIRM chairman. “However, we must remember that there will be successes and interim failures as human trials proceed through the refinements necessary to achieve a successful human therapy. We need to be prepared to stand by the heroic patients and the companies as they face these challenges and solve the problems that stand in the way of the recovery of patients from paralysis. When the people of California voted for proposition 71 they did so with the hope of seeing new therapies for disabling diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases and injuries. By funding this trial, CIRM is taking a major step toward making that hope a reality. ”
The initial phase of the trial will include just a small number of people with recent spinal cord injuries who will receive injections of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells derived from embryonic stem cells into the site of the injury. In animal models, those cells mature into oligodendrocytes, which produce the insulating layer surrounding neurons. The initial phase of the three-year project is designed to test whether the cells are safe. Later phases will include different levels of spinal cord injury and will test increasing doses of the cells. One person has already received injections of the cells at a clinical trial site in Georgia. Stanford University Medical Center is another of the trial locations.
At the same meeting, the Governing Board approved 27 Basic Biology III Awards worth $37.7 million. The awards to nine institutions will support research that leads to new insights in stem cell biology and disease origins. This work feeds the pipeline of new discoveries and also informs the work of research groups working on new disease therapies. The Basic Biology Awards are awarded on a recurring basis, with a total of 55 awards worth $76.4 million funded to-date. The Basic Biology Award to Robb Maclellan at the University of California, Los Angeles includes a collaborator in Germany, who will receive up to $1,464,000 in collaborative funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the science ministry in Germany.
In addition to funding new awards, the Governing Board approved the concept for the next round of Early Translational Awards. These awards support work that takes basic scientific discoveries and establishes possible therapeutic candidates.
The Board was also introduced to the launch of a new pilot program to support high school students carrying out interdisciplinary work in California stem cell labs. These Creativity Awards will support 18 students who will be involved in projects that combine stem cell science with at least one added discipline including engineering, chemistry, social sciences, ethics, music or others.
“These Creativity Awards encourage smart young people in California to bring fresh ideas into the stem cell research field,” said Alan Trounson, CIRM President. “We are not only supporting the next generation of stem cell scientists, we are promoting the kind of innovative thinking that leads to novel breakthroughs in science.“
The board also approved a proposal to support banking and the derivation of new iPS cell lines for disease modeling and drug discovery, as was recommended in a November 2010 workshop on iPS cells (that workshop report is available here: http://www.cirm.ca.gov/MeetingReports (http://www.cirm.ca.gov/MeetingReports)). CIRM will collaborate with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke on an iPS cell repository for neurodegenerative diseases through a public-private-partnership coordinated through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. The current proposal is considered a first step to be followed by a proposal to come to the governing board this fall regarding an iPS cell repository that would include additional disease areas. The CIRM budget for the first project is expected to be $150,000 per year for two years, while the NINDS budget for the series of partnerships they expect to create around the country is $4.5 million in the current fiscal year.
Basic BIology III Awards
Grant numberNameInstitutionTotal Funds RequestedRB3-05100Joanna WysockaStanford University$1,425,600RB3-05129Joseph WuStanford University$1,425,600RB3-05103Farah SheikhUniversity of California, San Diego$1,341,955RB3-05009Eugene YeoUniversity of California, San Diego$1,372,660RB3-02161Jiing-Kuan YeeCity Of Hope National Medical Center$1,268,868RB3-05083Kun ZhangUniversity of California, San Diego$1,382,140RB3-02143Binhai ZhengUniversity of California, San Diego$1,355,063RB3-02222Michael RapeUniversity of California, Berkeley$1,364,091RB3-05022Joel GottesfeldThe Scripps Research Institute$1,755,861RB3-05080Kathrin PlathUniversity of California, Los Angeles$1,364,598RB3-02266Charles KingUniversity of California, San Diego$1,313,649RB3-02165Shuo LinUniversity of California, Los Angeles$1,382,400RB3-02186Kristin BaldwinThe Scripps Research Institute$1,755,864RB3-05066Michael ClarkeStanford University$1,425,600RB3-05041Harold BernsteinUniversity of California, San Francisco$1,381,296RB3-05217Gay CrooksUniversity of California, Los Angeles$1,375,983RB3-05020John MurnaneUniversity of California, San Francisco$1,074,355RB3-05219Deborah SpectorUniversity of California, San Diego$1,372,660RB3-05232Song LiUniversity of California, Berkeley$1,341,064RB3-02098David ChereshUniversity of California, San Diego$1,361,448RB3-05086Robb MaclellanUniversity of California, Los Angeles$1,181,306RB3-05229Anirvan GhoshUniversity of California, San Diego$1,391,400RB3-02209Renee Reijo PeraStanford University$1,425,600RB3-05174Deepak SrivastavaThe J. David Gladstone Institutes$1,708,560RB3-02221R. Jeremy NicholsThe Parkinson's Institute$1,482,822RB3-05207William LowryUniversity of California, Los Angeles$1,354,230RB3-02129Yi SunUniversity of California, Los Angeles$1,382,400Total $37,767,073
A complete list of CIRM-funded institutions and funding levels is available here: http://www.cirm.ca.gov/InstitutionList (http://www.cirm.ca.gov/InstitutionList)
About CIRM: CIRM was established in November 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. A list of grants and loans awarded to date may be seen here: http://www.cirm.ca.gov/for-researchers/researchfunding (http://www.cirm.ca.gov/for-researchers/researchfunding)