The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) approved $25 million to fund 19 projects intended to overcome immune rejection of transplanted stem cells. They believe that overcoming rejection issues will eliminate potential barriers to moving stem cell therapies into the clinic.
CIRM president, Alan Trounson, an expert in the integration of immunology and stem cells from Monash University in Victoria, Australia, has encouraged R&D of strategies that could complement stem cell transplantation therapies. Two of the awards include a collaboration with partners at Monash University whose portion of the award will be funded by the state of Victoria. The Victorian government has committed $1.2 million toward funding these projects.
CIRM is a state stem cell agency created by proposition 71. “In writing proposition 71, we anticipated the need to overcome the immune response in order to fulfill one of the ultimate promises of regenerative medicine, replacing or repairing tissues with stem cells,” comments Robert Klein, chair of the CIRM governing board. “With these awards, CIRM-funded scientists will be advancing the critical medical technologies that are essential to prevent the immune system from rejecting life-saving transplants.”