Wednesday, October 28, 2009

California Stem Cell Agency Approves $230 Million Aimed at Clinical Trials

The California stem cell agency today formally awarded $230 million to 14 teams of scientists in the largest and most ambitious round of research grants in CIRM history.

Already the world's largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research, the $3 billion agency said the grants and loans would lead to the beginning stage of clinical trials in four years.

The disease team round also marks the first foray into what is expected to be a risky, $500 million loan program for the biotech industry. The round is additionally a critical step in building support for continued funding of the agency, which will lose the ability to finance itself sometime in the next decade.

The goal of the disease team effort is to generate filings to begin a clinical trial within four years or less. That would presumably lead to creation of therapies that could alleviate the suffering of thousands. CIRM could also use the results to ask the legislature or the people of California, by ballot measure, for additional funding.

The disease team round is the first major effort involving international partners, Canada and the United Kingdom. Organizations in those countries are collaborating with California partners and adding many more millions to the research largess.

All of the grants in tier one were approved, although application 1471 had conditions attached because of a change in the employment of a co-PI in the United Kingdom.


  1. Anonymous11:34 AM

    1471 was change in employment of Co-PI at collaborative funding partner (UK MRC), not PI.

  2. Thanks. The item has been fixed.