Thursday, September 24, 2015

Faster Action Approved in California on Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson's

To cheers and applause, directors of the $3 billion California stem cell agency this morning moved to speed action on a much-lobbied effort to fund research on a therapy for Parkinson's disease.

Randy Mills, president of the agency, said the action would mean that a request for applications would be posted within the next seven days instead of sometime next spring.

He spoke from the Sanford Consortium in La Jolla during a teleconference meeting with 18 locations. Parkinson's advocates at his site cheered and applauded the news.

A giddy Jenifer Raub, one of the leaders of the Summit4StemCells group, told agency directors,
"I feel like a kid at Christmas."
It was a feeling echoed by other members of the group, which had protested the delay at a CIRM board meeting in July and also earlier this month. About 17 were in attendance at Mills' location this morning.

The San Diego Parkinson's group is backing research by Jeanne Loring, head of stem cell research at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla. (See here and here.)

The unanimous vote by the board gave Mills more flexibility in scheduling upcoming rounds of awards involving basic and translational research. Loring's research fits in the translational area. The basic research round will now apparently be put off until next spring.

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