Latest California Stem Cell Agency Grants Aim for New Treatments
For the first time in its three-year existence, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine will provide grants to biotechnology companies and teams of not-for-profit research institutes and universities to focus work on new therapies and diagnostics, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The grants will be awarded to teams whose work will focus on a specific condition.
Bettina Steffan, a scientific officer at CIRM, said the disease-team funding does not seek to support basic research but aims to help develop existing discoveries to the point of clinical trials.
Ten biotech companies, as well as 56 teams from universities and not-for-profit research institutes, have sent letters to CIRM stating their intentions of applying for grants of up to $55,000.
CIRM is looking to issue up to 20 planning grants to allow disease teams of academia and industry experts to plan and detail how their groups would function. The grants will be awarded in June.
Patricia Olson, CIRM's director of scientific activities, said that the agency would provide larger, multi-year grants to disease teams for product development in the second half of 2008.
Not-for-profit institutes, including universities, can apply to lead four disease teams.
The size of the grants has not been determined, although teams will be required to meet benchmarks before receiving additional funding. The funds will be spaced out over several years and vary depending on the phase of research (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/6).