SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 17, 2010 – Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and the Chair of the Governing Board of the California state stem cell agency, Robert Klein, signed a Declaration of Cooperation that aims to create a framework for joint funding between researchers in the two states and to accelerate the pace of development of cellular therapies to reach patients.
The signing took place at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
“This partnership is great news for those living with some of today’s most debilitating diseases,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “This revolutionary science has the potential to save millions of lives, and this collaboration will help to bring some of the best minds together to advance stem cell research. I look forward to seeing the great successes that develop from this partnership that will help treat some of today’s most life-threatening diseases.”
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the state of Wisconsin, coordinated through and led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, expect to identify opportunities to further the advancement, promotion and funding of stem cell research and the development of stem cell therapies.
“Wisconsin and California share a strong past and a bright future in stem cell research and technology development,” Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle said. “This agreement builds on our common strengths and commits to continuing collaboration that will lead the future of innovation, grow our economies, and get life-saving technologies from our laboratories to the marketplace.”
The agreement will make it easier for researchers in California and those at UW-Madison and other entities in the state to obtain joint funding to broaden the potential pool of expertise that can be applied toward research in any specific area.
“Researchers in Wisconsin led the world in first isolating human embryonic stem cells; and California researchers have built on Wisconsin’s leadership to move multiple human embryonic stem cell derived therapies towards the clinic, including therapies for people with age-related blindness (AMD), juvenile diabetes, ALS, and stroke. Patient suffering mandates collaboration of the best scientists from each state to safely and effectively deliver critical therapies at the earliest time possible. Every day saved, by bringing the scientific leadership of California and Wisconsin together, is a day of suffering eliminated or a life saved for millions of patients throughout the world.
“The opportunities provided by stem cell research are great, but so are the challenges,” Dr. Timothy Kamp, Co-director of the University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center said. “Cooperation and joint programs, such as outlined by the CIRM and State of Wisconsin agreement, will enhance scientific exchange and accelerate progress in this field. We look forward to working with our colleagues in CIRM to move this research forward and bring us closer to new treatments for many debilitating diseases.”
“Stem cell research is a national and a global challenge; building a network among U.S. states and organizations that have shown leadership in the field complements the network we have built with seven partner nations and honors our mandate to accelerate the therapies that will relieve patient suffering,” Klein added.
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, the BMBF in Germany, MOST in China and the state of Maryland, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation.
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 approved by 59 percent of California’s voters with seven million votes. The initiative called for the establishment of a state agency 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 345 research and facility grants totaling more than $1 billion, while attracting over $1 billion in donor and institutional matching funds,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.
Wisconsin Since taking office, Governor Doyle has vastly expanded Wisconsin’s investment in this critical field to capture 10 percent of the stem cell market by 2015. He also launched a $750 million initiative to develop stem cell research and biotechnology in Wisconsin. The centerpiece of this effort is the construction of the Institutes for Discovery in Madison, featuring public and private research facilities for interdisciplinary research and greater collaboration with industry on the UW-Madison campus. The Institutes for Discovery will open in December 2010. Additionally, Wisconsin’s WiCell was selected as the nation’s first and only National Stem Cell Bank by the National Institutes of Health in 2005 and today continues as the Wisconsin International Stem Cell Bank.
In 2008, Governor Doyle received the Genetics Policy Institute’s National Leadership Award in recognition of his support of stem cell research and his strategic goal to invest $750 million in biotechnology and stem cell research.