Thursday, December 12, 2013

CIRM Directors Reject $16 Million Eye Research Application

Directors of the California stem cell agency today rejected a $16 million application from Cedars-Sinai for research involving retinitis pigmentosa.

The action came on a split vote despite a personal appearance by the principal investigator, Kent Small, and a patient advocate.

CIRM staff had recommended rejecting the grant because the agency is funding a number of other eye research projects. The vote was 7-4 to approve the staff recommendation.

Small and Clive Svendsen, also of Cedars-Sinai, noted that other diseases have many grants from CIRM and have not been subjected to the same sort of objection. They noted that the eye is a particularly good target for stem cell therapy compared to other areas of the body.

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