CIRM Awards $67 Million to Move Basic Research Toward the Clinic

Los Angeles, Calif., April 29, 2009 – The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state stem cell agency, will begin funding work that translates basic research into clinical cures. At a meeting of the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee, the 29-member Governing Board approved $67.7 million to fund 15 grants focused on moving basic research toward patients.

The 15 Early Translational grants approved by the board will go to 13 not-for-profit and two for-profit organizations. These grants are intended to either lead to a drug candidate for an unmet medical need or address a bottleneck in the development of new therapies. The board chose to hold decision on 12 grants that had been recommended for funding only if funds allow. They will consider those grants at the June meeting.

“With these Early Translational grants CIRM has taken the first step in funding translational research that will be critical for the development of future therapies,” said Alan Trounson, CIRM president. “These grants are an important part of CIRM’s strategy to fund the best basic research and then bring the results of that work to patients.”

At the previous two meetings, board members had been hesitant to commit funding for new awards due to uncertainty regarding bond sales, which CIRM relies on for funds. After a successful recent bond sale, the state allocated CIRM $275 million in new funding. Additional bond funds earmarked for CIRM were used to repay a prior state loan.

Other ICOC Business

The board endorsed a process for responding to the draft NIH stem cell research guidelines that were released April 17. A sub-committee will meet May 7 to draft formal CIRM comments on those draft regulations. A follow-up ICOC meeting tentatively scheduled for May 12 will review and finalize that response.

In other business, the board chose to cosponsor the 2010 meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research to be held in San Francisco. CIRM will contribute $200,000 to the cost of the meeting. The board also approved a procedure and committee structure for evaluating the performance of the president, chair, and vice-chairs.

Early Translational Awards

Application Number Institution PI Name
Total Budget
TR1-01215 Novocell, Inc.    Justine Cunningham    $5,405,397
TR1-01216    Scripps Health    Darryl D’Lima   $3,118,431
TR1-01219 Scripps Research Institute    Martin Friedlander $5,945,738
TR1-01227 The J. David Gladstone Institutes    Warner Greene    $1,327,973
TR1-01245 University of California, Irvine    Frank LaFerla    $3,599,997
TR1-01246 The Parkinson’s Institute    William Langston    $3,701,766
TR1-01249 Stanford University    Michael Longaker    $5,767,050
TR1-01250 Scripps Research Institute    Jeanne Loring    $6,292,290
TR1-01257 University of California, Davis    Jan Nolta    $2,753,559
TR1-01267 Burnham Institute for Medical Research    Evan Snyder    $3,562,824
TR1-01269 University of California, Davis    Alice Tarantal    $4,214,592
TR1-01272 University of California, Los Angeles    Gabriel Travis    $5,503,069
TR1-01273    The Salk Institute for Biological Studies    Inder Verma    $6,649,347
TR1-01276 BioTime, Inc.    Michael West    $4,721,706
TR1-01277 University of California, San Diego    Yang Xu    $5,165,028


All Grants To-Date

Institution Research Grants Facilities Grants Total Grants Funds (Requested & Awarded)
Stanford University              34                 2 36 $107,012,072
University of California, San Francisco              27                  2                  29      $83,808,866
University of California, Los Angeles              23                  2                  25      $62,577,253
University of California, Irvine              20                 2                  22       $59,757,564
University of Southern California              13                 2                   15      $49,418,708
University of California, Davis              12                  2                  14      $48,035,430
Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine 1                    0     1 $43,000,000
University of California, San Diego              21                  1                  22      $42,829,747
University of California, Berkeley                8                 2                  10      $34,626,605
Scripps Research Institute     10                 1                  11      $27,560,249
Buck Institute for Age Research                2                 2                     4      $25,429,364
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies              11                 1                  12      $24,193,690
Burnham Institute for Medical Research               14                 1                  15      $23,134,219
The J. David Gladstone Institutes              12                 1                   13      $22,633,003
University of California, Santa Cruz               7                 2                    9      $19,383,633
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles                6                 1                     7      $14,219,310
University of California, Merced                4                 1                    5      $8,494,301
University of California, Santa Barbara                3                 2                    5      $8,490,842
Novocell, Inc.                3                     3      $6,281,419
University of California, Riverside                 3                  1                     4      $6,055,762
BioTime, Inc.                1          1      $4,721,706
City of Hope National Medical Center                5        5      $4,131,703
The Parkinson’s Institute     1            1      $3,701,766
San Diego State University     2           2      $3,441,860
Scripps Health                1               1 $3,118,431
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research                3                        1 $2,473,053
California Institute of Technology                1                           1      $2,071,823
San Jose State University   1           1      $1,733,760
California State University, Channel Islands                1               1      $1,733,406
California State University, San Marcos                1             1      $1,732,164
Pasadena City College   1            1      $1,727,991
San Francisco State University                1            1      $1,713,558
Humboldt State University    1          1      $1,616,363
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona    1            1      $1,436,797
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo                1      1      $1,396,509
California State University, Long Beach                1            1      $1,337,700
California State University, Sacramento                1          1      $1,321,440
VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc.                1           1      $971,558
Gamma Medica-Ideas, Inc.    1          1      $949,748
Vala Sciences, Inc.                1          1      $906,629
Invitrogen Corporation    1          1      $869,262
Fluidigm Corporation    1      1      $749,520
Human BioMolecular Research Institute                  1      $714,654
Childrens Hospital Oakland Research Institute                1   1      $55,000
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center                1     1      $46,886
Grand Total            265                29                 294      $761,615,324


Related Media:

Videos explaining stem cell research are available on the CIRM YouTube site:

Stem cell images are available at the CIRM Flickr site: These are available for use with credit to the scientist listed in the caption.

About CIRM CIRM was established in November, 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. To date, the CIRM governing board has approved 294 research and facility grants totaling more than $761 million, making CIRM the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world. For more information, please visit