CIRM awards $151 million in stem cell grants to 8 projects statewide

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File photo: Close up of cancer cells in the cervix. CIRM awarded UCLA $20 million for the university's study on the reprogramming of cancer cells.

This week, California’s public stem-cell agency awarded more than $150 million to advance research into eight diseases now under study by researchers at several California universities, one L.A. hospital and a biotech company.

The University of California Davis received the largest share of stem cell research grants from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

The voter-approved agency, also known as CIRM, awarded nearly $50 million to three UC Davis research teams studying treatments for the bone disease osteoperosis, for the genetic brain disorder known as Huntington’s Disease and for Critical Limb Ischemia, a painful condition caused by severe blockage of arteries.

CIRM gave $20 million to a UCLA study on the reprogramming of cancer cells. And the agency awarded UC-Irvine and the biotech firm, StemCells, Inc. of Newark, California $20 million for their joint study into treatments for cervical spinal injuries.

Cedar Sinai Medical Center also made the list with an $18 million grant to speed their research into possible treatments for Lou Gehrig’s disease, a neuromuscular condition that leads to paralysis and death.

And Stanford University won two awards of $20 million each to study cardiovascular disease at metastatic melanoma.

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