Thursday, June 28, 2018

California Backs Research for Brain Cancer and Parkinson's with $9.5 Million

OAKLAND, Ca. -- The California stem cell agency today awarded $9.5 million for two late stage preclinical projects for development of therapies aimed at brain cancer and Parkinson's Disease.

A $5.8 million award for Parkinson's went to Krystof Bankiewicz of UC San Francisco and Clive Svendsen of Cedars-Sinai. A $3.7 million award for glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, went to John Zaia of the City Of  Hope. Glioblastoma is the form of cancer that has afflicted U.S. Sen. John McCain.

In a news release from the agency, known formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), its CEO, Maria Millan, said,
“Glioblastoma is the most common, and the most aggressive, form of brain cancer that led to the death of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau Biden. 
"CIRM has supported a variety of stem cell-based approaches to target this devastating and currently untreatable condition.  The project approved by our board today is unique in that it seeks to use gene modified stem cells to allow patients to tolerate the high doses of chemotherapy while also making these tumors more susceptible to the chemotherapy.”
Regarding the Parkinson's award, the agency has already pumped $22.3 million into a phase one clinical trial being conducted by Svendsen for treatment of ALS with the same neural progenitor cell product that will be used in the Parkinson's research.

Here are links to the review summaries on the Parkinson's application and the glioblastoma application, plus additional information.

Application Number
Principal Investigator
Public Summary
of Review
John Zaia
City of Hope
Krystof Bankiewicz/
Clive Svendsen
UC San Francisco/

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