“I can say without doubt that the progress we have made developing our therapeutic candidate would not have been possible but for the tremendous support we have received from CIRM(the stem cell agency). Importantly, CIRM’s support has been multiplied, as it has helped us to secure other funding sources that we need to drive this project forward.”
“Good afternoon, I am Dr. Paul Laikind, president and CEO of ViaCyte.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the ICOC, the Grants Review Working Group, the CIRM staff and especially the citizens of California whom you all represent, for the continued support of the work we are doing at ViaCyte to develop what we all hope will be an important, innovative treatment for diabetes.
“CIRM has been a partner with us in this endeavor since the early days and your confidence and support has allowed us to make tremendous progress. Last month we were cleared by the Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical trials evaluating our stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy candidate in patients with type 1 diabetes. Following up on that exciting news, it was proudly announced just yesterday that the first center to enroll patients in this trial will be the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
“To our knowledge this will be the first time an embryonic stem cell derived cell replacement therapy for diabetes will be tested in the clinic. This exciting development illustrates the importance of CIRM’s mission for medicine and for California. CIRM is all about breaking new ground, nurturing promising medical advances and stimulating our great state’s economy.
“I can say without doubt that the progress we have made developing our therapeutic candidate would not have been possible but for the tremendous support we have received from CIRM. Importantly, CIRM’s support has been multiplied, as it has helped us to secure other funding sources that we need to drive this project forward.
“Some will point out that that we are still at an early stage with this project and there is no denying that, there is much left to do and discover. However, together we have made tremendous progress and increased the odds of success with each milestone achieved. Whatever the outcome, CIRM has pushed the boundaries of medicine and is step by step bringing us closer to realizing the tremendous promise of regenerative medicine.
“Thank you again for the very important work you are doing.”