Thursday, December 11, 2008

News release from CIRM

CIRM announces Tools and Technologies Grants to remove obstacles on the path to therapies. News Release, December 10, 2008 [PDF]. Excerpt:
Other ICOC Business

The board approved concepts for two upcoming grant programs. One was the Disease Team Awards, which are intended to accommodate the transition of basic stem cell biology into therapies. The multi-disciplinary teams are expected to initiate human clinical trials for a stem cell therapy within four years of receiving the award. This is a dramatically compressed timeline compared to the ten or more years that this process can normally take. The RFA for this award will be available in February. The board also approved the concept for the Basic Biology initiative, which is intended to drive innovation toward new therapy discoveries and to provide a strong research portfolio in basic stem cell biology. The RFA for this award is expected to be available later in December.

“These upcoming RFAs show the breadth of CIRM’s commitment to advancing basic research to the clinic,” said Trounson. “The Basic Biology Awards will ensure a steady influx of new ideas entering the therapy pipelines, while the Disease Team Awards will convert stem cell discoveries into clinical therapies. With these and the other grants we expect to distribute in the upcoming year, CIRM is positioned to drive the full spectrum of biomedical research, from developing the new ideas to breaking down barriers in stem cell research and bringing new therapies to the clinic.”

The board voted to impose no limits on the number of proposals for the Disease Team and Basic Biology initiatives. ...
[The ICOC is the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)].

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