BALTIMORE, Md., September 21, 2009 —The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), which administers the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF), announced today a bi-coastal collaboration on stem cell research.
The agreement was signed today at the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit in Baltimore by Dr. Alan Trounson, president of CIRM and John Wasilisin, acting president and executive director of TEDCO. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley witnessed the signing.
CIRM and TEDCO are laying the foundation for joint Maryland-California research to advance stem cell therapies for treatment of some of today’s most debilitating diseases. As stem cell research progresses toward clinical application, both CIRM and TEDCO (through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission [Commission]), are now funding more translational and disease-focused research. The agreement will make it easier for researchers in California and Maryland to collaborate and obtain joint funding to broaden the potential pool of expertise that can be applied toward research in a specific area.
It is expected that researchers on both coasts ultimately may be invited to form teams that will submit applications jointly for funding through a process that builds upon routine CIRM and Commission procedures. For those applications that are approved, CIRM will fund the California researchers and TEDCO will fund the Maryland researchers.
“Maryland scientists are among the world’s leaders in stem cell science. By forging collaborations with California, we can create together intellectual powerhouse teams to accelerate the search for cures and the development of stem cell based therapies, for the benefit of people across the country and around the world,” said Governor O’Malley.
"California is proud to have Maryland as a partner in the effort to find therapies for some of today's most debilitating diseases while creating high paying jobs in both states," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "I am happy that California's first-in-the-nation investment in stem cell research is furthering this potentially life-saving research with its partnerships across the country and world."
“One of CIRM’s primary goals is to accelerate the field of stem cell research as a whole. In some instances we can do this more effectively through collaborations that involve the best scientific endeavors, regardless of geography” said Dr. Alan Trounson, president of CIRM.
“TEDCO is very optimistic about this agreement with CIRM as it allows MSCRF awardees to benefit from the resources and strength of interstate collaboration, said Dr. Dan Gincel, director of the MSCRF. “Both California and Maryland have two of the most promising stem cell programs in the country and we believe that this agreement will facilitate advancements of technology for our researchers, stakeholders, and the people that can benefit from stem cell technology.”
“Patients will benefit from the scientific leverage of this California-Maryland collaboration that will accelerate the development of stem cell derived therapies,” stated CIRM chairman Robert N. Klein. “Stem cell research is a national and a global challenge; and building a network among U.S. states that have shown leadership in the field will complement the network we have built with six partner countries.”
CIRM currently has similar agreements with the Cancer Stem Cell Consortium of Canada, the State of Victoria in Australia, the JST in Japan, the MICINN in Spain, the MRC in the United Kingdom and most recently with the BMBF in Germany. Its agreement with Maryland marks the first time the Institute has entered a collaborative relationship with another in the United States.
TEDCO has 12 collaborative agreements with federal laboratories within and outside the State of Maryland including partnerships with The National Institutes of Health (NIH), The United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). In addition, TEDCO works with all major research institutions in Maryland and has an investment program with the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science & Technology (COSAT).
About CIRM CIRM was established in 2005 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 307 research and facility grants totaling more than $781 million, making CIRM the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world. For more information, please visit www.cirm.ca.gov.
About TEDCO An independent entity, TEDCO was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1998 to facilitate the creation of businesses and foster their growth in all regions of the State. TEDCO's role is to be Maryland's leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for the development, transfer and commercialization of technology. TEDCO connects emerging technology companies with federal laboratories, research universities, business incubators and specialized technical assistance. For the fifth consecutive year, TEDCO was recognized as the most active seed/early-stage investor in the nation in the August 2008 issue of Entrepreneur magazine and received the national Excellence in Technology-Based Economic Development award from the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) for the Maryland Technology Transfer Fund (MTTF) program in October 2008. For more information on TEDCO and its programs and resources, visit www.MarylandTEDCO.org.
About MSCRC Established as an independent unit within the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has set up criteria, standards and requirements to administer the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund in accordance with the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006. The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund has been established to promote state-funded stem research. With a current $12.4 million budget for FY 2010, the Commission will support grants to public and private entities in the State. The Commission is a proud partner of The 2009 World Stem Cell Summit that is taking place in Baltimore September 21 through September 23. For more information about the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund and a list of Commission members, please visit www.mscrf.org.