Cellular Dynamics International announced that the company has received the Notice of Grant Award (NGA) from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to create a human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) biobank from 3,000 individuals. Receipt of the NGA signifies the entry into a definitive agreement with CIRM and the initiation of funding for the $16 million project.
CDI will create three iPSC lines for each of 3,000 healthy and diseased donors. Tissue samples will be taken from patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorders, liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neuro-developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and infantile epilepsy, diseases of the eye, and/or respiratory diseases. CDI will generate the iPSCs using the episomal reprogramming method first developed by CDI, which reverts the adult cell to a stem cell state without integrating foreign DNA into the cell’s genome. Thus the original biological integrity of the cell is maintained, an important consideration in the study of human disease.
“We are delighted to formally begin this important three-year project. We believe CIRM is building the largest iPSC bank in the world,” said Bob Palay, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CDI. “Since CIRM announced the $16 million grant award, we have been constructing our laboratory and iPSC manufacturing facilities in leased space at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging as well as staffing this facility. We now look forward to the start of the project where we’ll begin to receive samples and produce the iPSC lines.”
Ellen Feigal, MD, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of CIRM, added, “CIRM’s initiative will provide scientists access to cell lines representing the genetic variety within human diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, lung fibrosis and autism to discover the nature and causes of underlying human diseases in a way not previously feasible, and accelerate the discovery and development of new therapies. We look forward to working with CDI in this critical initiative to provide a broad array of relevant human stem cell research materials to scientists in California and worldwide in an effort to revolutionize regenerative medicine research.”