CIRM Hands Out $25 Million for Basic Research into Host of Diseases
Heart disease, HIV, cancer and more targeted with stem cells and gene therapy
The California stem cell agency awarded nearly $25 million today to search for treatments and techniques to deal with everything from ovarian cancer and heart disease to HIV and eye afflictions.
The action came as directors ratified 17 awards approved earlier by its grant reviewers and added another two awards to the mix. The CIRM staff recommended that the two be approved despite scores below the 85 cutoff. Reviewers were nearly evenly split on the proposals.
All the applications were for early-stage research in what CIRM calls its Quest program. It will likely take years before the proposals ever reach clinical-stage testing, if they survive that long, according to CIRM. But even research that does not reach patients can be useful to scientists.
“Every therapy that helps save lives or change lives begins with a researcher asking a simple question, “What if?” said Maria T. Millan, president and CEO of CIRM, said in a news release. “Our Quest awards reflect the need to keep supporting early-stage research, to gain a deeper understanding of how stem cells work and how we can best tap into that potential to advance the field.”
The awards that were not approved by reviewers, who make the de facto decisions on applications, were 13510, which involves HIV, and 13475, which involves Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Both scored 84 on a scale of 100.
Only 21 applications survived CIRM’s review process out of 75 applications in this round. Twenty-one (cq) were cut through an internal CIRM review process without being submitted to a full review.
Summaries of the reviews of all the applications that received a full review can be found here. The summaries do not carry the names of the researchers or their institutions. However, the names of the winners and their application numbers can be found below. CIRM does not identify applicants who were not funded.
Here is the list of award winners:
Targeted Immunotherapy-Based Blood Stem Cell Transplantation
Judy Shizuru, Stanford University
Combating Ovarian Cancer Using Stem Cell-Engineered Off-The-Shelf CAR-iNKT Cells
Lili Yang, UCLA
A treatment for Rett syndrome using glial-restricted neural progenitor cells
Alysson Muotri, UC San Diego
Targeting pancreatic cancer stem cells with DDR1 antibodies.
Michael Karin, UC San Diego
Enabling non-genetic activity-driven maturation of iPSC-derived neurons
Alex Savtchenko, Nanotools Bioscience
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy for Alpha
Don Kohn, UCLA
CAR T cells targeting abnormal N-glycans for the
treatment of refractory/metastatic solid cancers
Michael Demetriou, UC Irvine
Drug Development of Inhibitors of Inflammation Using Human iPSC-Derived Microglia (hiMG)
Stuart Lipton, Scripps Research Inst.
Cardiac Reprogramming Gene Therapy for Post-Myocardial Infarction Heart Failure
Timothy Hoey, Tenaya Therapeutics
AAV-dCas9 Epigenetic Editing for CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder
Kyle Fink, UC Davis
Defining the Optimal Gene Therapy Approach of
Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells for the Treatment of Dedicator of Cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8) Deficiency
Caroline Kuo, UCLA
Bioengineering human stem cell-derived beta cell organoids to monitor cell health in real time and improve therapeutic outcomes in patients
Katy Digovich, Minutia, Inc.
Novel antisense therapy to treat genetic forms of
Joseph Gleeson, UC San Diego
Therapeutics to overcome the differentiation roadblock in Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
Michael Bollong, Scripps Research Inst.
Novel methods to eliminate cancer stem cells
Dinesh Rao, UCLA
A new precision medicine based iPSC-derived model to study personalized intestinal fibrosis treatments in pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease
Robert Barrett Cedars-Sinai
Modified RNA-Based Gene Therapy for Cardiac
Regeneration Through Cardiomyocyte Proliferation
Deepak Srivastava, Gladstone Institutes
An hematopoietic stem-cell-based approach to treat HIV employing CAR-T cells and anti-HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies
Brian Lawson, The Scintillon Institute
Developing gene therapy for dominant optic atrophy using human pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal organoid disease model
Xian-Jie Yang, UCLA
Labels: grantmaking, basic research, awards