January 2015 Newsletter

CIRM January Newsletter

Welcome to a New Year and a New CIRM

On behalf of the entire CIRM team, we hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Here at the agency we're not only welcoming a new year but a new CIRM. On January 1st, we officially launched the first three programs under CIRM 2.0, a radical overhaul of the way the agency does business. CIRM 2.0 makes it easier for both companies and academic researchers with promising projects to partner with CIRM to get the support they need when they need it, reducing the time from application to funding from around two years to just 120 days. The CIRM Board, at its December 11th meeting, unanimously approved $50M in funding to invest in clinical trials for the first six months of the program. Later this year, CIRM will present proposals to the Board to expand the program to include earlier stage projects.

Looking Back at 2014: The Top 10 CIRM Blogs

2014 marked an extraordinary year for regenerative medicine and for CIRM. We welcomed a new president, several of our research programs have moved into clinical trials—and our goal of accelerating treatments for patients in need is within our grasp. To take a look back at the year, we revisited The Stem Cellar’s ten most popular stories of 2014. Enjoy!

New Videos: A Stem Cell-Based Clinical Trial for Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic disease that gradually leads to blindness by destroying the light sensing nerve cells, called photoreceptors, located in the retina at the back of the eye. At the October CIRM Board meeting, UC-Irvine professor Henry Klassen described a CIRM-funded project that aims to begin a stem cell-based clinical trial for RP early this year. Rosalinda and German Barrero also spoke to the Board about the devastating impact of RP on their lives and their excitement and hope for the clinical trial. Video recordings of this Spotlight on Disease seminar are now available on CIRM's website.

Stem Cell Community Converges on San Antonio for Annual Summit

In early December, San Antonio hosted the 10th annual World Stem Cell Summit. About 1,200 attendees from roughly 40 countries converged on the city for the summit. Researchers from the world’s top universities, institutions and companies as well as patient advocates gave presentations and led panel discussions on the latest topics in the stem cell field. CIRM President and CEO C. Randal Mills (second from left in photo above) participated in one panel focused on the challenges of taking promising therapies out of the lab and into people. CIRM's communications team published several on-location blogs about the conference. 

Israel and California Announce International Collaboration on Stem Cell Research

On December 1st, CIRM reached a cooperation agreement with Israel’s Center for R&D (MATIMOP) to help advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine. The agreement will lay the foundation for potential Californian-Israeli stem cell research programs, making it easier for researchers to obtain joint funding for their work. A signing ceremony took place on December 5th at the CIRM office with Michel Hivert (left in the photo above), the Managing Director of MATIMOP representing Israel and Jonathan Thomas (right) representing CIRM. This agreement builds on the 16 other international Collaborative Funding Partner (CFP) agreements that CIRM has developed.

The Latest Publications on CIRM-funded Research

CIRM grantees are making steady progress on understanding the fundamentals of stem cell biology and moving stem cell-based therapies toward clinical trials. Here's an example of CIRM-funded research that was published in December along with a press release from the grantees' home institutions and entries from The Stem Cellar, CIRM's official blog:

December 2nd - Nature Neuroscience

Upcoming CIRM Events

January 12th, 8:00-10:00am: CIRM will be on hand at the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine's 5th Annual Regen Med & Advanced Therapies State of the Industry Briefing being held on January 12 from 8:00 to 10:00 am in San Francisco.  CIRM President Randy Mills will be moderating a panel discussion focused on cell therapy titled “Dose, Delivery, Data: Understanding the Three D's of Advanced Therapy Drug Development.”  This free meeting always provides valuable insight into recent progress in the field of regenerative medicine.  Click here to get more information and to RSVP.

Jan 29th: The CIRM governing Board will hold its first meeting of 2015 in Burlingame, CA. The agenda and details will be posted to the meetings page 10 days before the event.

CIRM 2.0 Funding Opportunities

The first three CIRM 2.0 program announcements were launched this month. The applications will be available shortly. In the meantime, here is detailed information about each funding opportuntity:

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CIRM Job Openings

The following positions are now open. Follow the links below to apply or go to our jobs page: