CIRM Launches Industry Alliance Program to Facilitate Partnerships That Advance Stem Cell Therapies

April 5th, 2018 - Oakland, CA –  The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California’s Stem Cell Agency, today announced the launch of the Industry Alliance Program (IAP) - a new partnering opportunity to bring the most promising stem cell, gene therapy, and regenerative medicine programs to market where they can help people with unmet medical needs.

With 244 active stem cell research programs, including 39 ongoing clinical trials, CIRM is the world’s largest stem cell research funding institution dedicated to helping patients by accelerating the development of quality stem cell treatments.

The CIRM IAP is designed to give pharma, biotech and VC firms direct access to CIRM’s growing stem cell portfolio. These partners have a vested interest in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field and will be connected to CIRM-funded scientists working on projects relevant to their objectives.

“The goal of the IAP is to secure industry partnerships and funding for CIRM’s translational and clinical-stage projects,” explains Maria T. Millan, M.D., President and CEO of CIRM. “Our Agency provides researchers the initial funding to advance promising projects towards the clinic. Now, we’re going a step further by offering a program that facilitates connections between industry partners and our grantees. These companies can offer the support or additional funding needed to give these promising projects the best chance for success and the best chance of helping patients.”

The first two companies to join the IAP are BlueRock Therapeutics and Vivo Capital. BlueRock is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company that is pioneering cell therapies for degenerative diseases while Vivo Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in life sciences and healthcare companies.

CIRM will continue to selectively recruit new partners to the IAP with the goal of building a collaborative network to support the development and commercialization of CIRM-funded programs.

“The IAP is essentially a built-in concierge service for the stem cell space,” says Neil Littman, CIRM’s Director of Business Development. “Our unique vantage-point both inside and outside of California – spanning discovery, translation, and clinical trials - allows us to effectively match CIRM-funded programs with the strategic objectives of our IAP partners.  We’re excited to work with partners such as BlueRock and Vivo who have a demonstrated commitment to advance stem cell-based therapies to the market.”

About CIRM

At CIRM, we never forget that we were created by the people of California to accelerate stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs, and act with a sense of urgency to succeed in that mission.

To meet this challenge, our team of highly trained and experienced professionals actively partners with both academia and industry in a hands-on, entrepreneurial environment to fast track the development of today’s most promising stem cell technologies.

With $3 billion in funding and approximately 300 active stem cell programs in our portfolio, CIRM is the world’s largest institution dedicated to helping people by bringing the future of cellular medicine closer to reality.

For more information go to www.cirm.ca.gov.