Monday, May 26, 2014
$37 Million Slated for California Stem Cell Research
Directors of the California stem cell agency this week are expected to hand out $37 million to businesses and scientists for projects involving human embryonic stem cells(hESC), spinal injury and urinary incontinence.
About $20 million will go to enterprises involved in later stage research. A $14.3 million award is expected to go to Asterias Therapeutics of Menlo Park, Ca., which has purchased the stem cell program that originated with Geron Corp. Asterias plans to move forward with the hESC clinical trial that Geron began amid much ballyhoo. However, Geron abandoned the effort in 2011 for financial reasons. (See here and here.)
A $5.6 million award is expected to go a previous but unidentified grant recipient for work involving HIV/AIDS. (Late today, an anonymous reader said in a comment at the end of this item that the award is for Sangamo Biosciences in Richmond, Ca.)
At their meeting Thursday in San Diego, directors of the agency are also expected to approve $16.2 million to help recruit three out-of-state scientists. The academic recruitment program was created to help California lure star scientists to the Golden State. The awards range from $6.4 million to $4.6 million. Two additional applicants were classified as by reviewers as additional possibilities for funding depending on the druthers of the board. The names of the applicants are being withheld by the agency
The recruitment program was originally budgeted some years ago for $44 million. Twenty-three million dollars was added in 2013. Prior to this week, the awards helped to finance the recruitment of seven scientists.
Information about the $900,000 urinary incontinence award can be found here.