Mar 22, 2013

Cellular Dynamics getting $16 million grant for stem cell biobank

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Judy Newman

Cellular Dynamics International is getting a $16 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to develop several thousand stem cell lines that will become the basis of a stem cell biobank for use by researchers worldwide.

The Madison company, founded by UW-Madison stem cell pioneer James Thomson, will receive blood and tissue samples from healthy donors as well as from people with Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorders, liver diseases, cardiovascular ailments, eye diseases, respiratory diseases and neurodevelopmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

The cells will be stored at a biorepository to be established in California by the Coriell Institute for Medical Research of Camden, N.J., with the help of a $10 million companion grant.

CDI chairman and chief executive Bob Palay said the company is excited about receiving the funding from CIRM, which was founded as a result of a $3 billion stem cell fund approved by California taxpayers.

“The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is a world leader in funding stem cell research,” Palay said. “Their human iPSC banking initiative will create the world’s largest human iPSC bank.”

Palay said the agreement will involve adding employees to CDI’s current staff of about 100 but the work will be done in California. No details on staffing were immediately available. 

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