CIRM and NIH stem cell grants to the biotech industry

Different attitudes, same endeavors.

1. The folks at the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) started to offer grants for biotech companies up to $55,000 out of the 3 billion ‘hope’ dollars.

San Diego Union Tribune: Industry and academia team up:

For the first time in its three-year existence, the state taxpayer-funded stem cell institute is offering grant money to biotechnology companies….The stem cell institute wants to issue up to 20 planning grants to allow prospective disease-team members to hold teleconferences and travel to meetings around the state with potential collaborators to work out the details of how their group would function.

The idea is to form a team whose members have expertise in all areas of developing a drug or diagnostic – from the initial idea to testing it on animal models, producing enough of it for experiments and figuring out how it meets the needs of patients.

2. On the other hand, the NIH people in Bethesda, Maryland like the West and East Coast United Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) but not because the company’s single cell biopsy method for creating ethical ES cells.

Reuters: Advanced Cell Technology Awarded Grant from the NIH

The company will use the grant proceeds to conduct research that will allow for rapid labeling and purification of specific lineage restricted cells (LRCs) in cultures of differentiating human embryonic stem cells. If successful, the research will help the company more rapidly develop new regenerative therapies for a variety of indications including cardiovascular disease as well for commercialization of the LRCs and their peptide-targeting agents as research reagents.

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