Thursday, September 17, 2009

Germany Added to CIRM's Stable of Partners

The California stem cell agency today announced its sixth international agreement – this one with Germany – with the hope that it will lead to joint research in stem cell transplantation and immunology.

The agreement is intended to make it easier for researchers in California and Germany to obtain joint funding. As with the other agreements, no California funds are permitted to be spent outside of the state.

CIRM already has agreements with organizations in Canada, the state of Victoria in Australia, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom.

CIRM's news release quoted California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as saying,
“There are brilliant minds all over the world, especially here in California, and with collaborations like this we can help ensure that potentially life-saving breakthroughs can come more quickly and more often.”
In response to a query, Don Gibbons, chief communications officer for CIRM, said,
“We have over $60 million in commitments from our international collaborative funding partners.... There were a total of nine collaborative applications in the Disease Teams, with Canada, Spain and the UK represented, but of course we won’t know how those nine fared among the 31 until October 28(the next CIRM board meeting). There are a number of Japanese collaborations among the Basic Biology 2 awards that have just come in and are being assessed internally now.”
The only international grants awarded so far came last spring in the early translation research round. Four collaborations were funded for a total of $29 million($24 million California and $5 million Victoria) involving Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and techniques for working with embryonic stem cells.

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