CIRM fosters new industry

CIRM funding spawns patch technology company to treat blindness

We’ve written a lot in the past year about our increased efforts to engage with industry and to connect our researchers with industry partners. In most cases, we need the involvement of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies if the research by our grantees is going to reach patients. Those companies are the ones that will take the therapy candidates and move them through clinical trial and into the clinic.

Given our focus on industry it was nice to see a story in today’s Science-Business Exchange, which is a joint publication of BioCentury and Nature. The story requires a paid subscription to read. The story points out that in addition to funding one company in the most recent round of funding, two companies have resulted from the first round of Disease Teams:

Moreover, 2 of those 12 projects have spawned new companies: in 2011 the City of Hope brain cancer project leader founded TheraBiologics Inc., and also in 2011 the University of Southern California (USC) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) project team spun out Regenerative Patch Technologies Inc.

Generating new companies based on CIRM-funded research creates new jobs in the state, which is one of CIRM’s goals.

It’s hard to predict which research will be most successful. However, the story does quote CIRM’s Don Gibbons talking about which disease team projects are closest to reaching clinical trials.

Gibbons declined to say which of the 2009 projects might reach the clinic first but added that CIRM president Alan Trounson “has indicated he thinks the HIV team at City of Hope and the macular degeneration team of USC are pretty close.”

A.A.

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