Use our account feature to register for a free CLI account. Your new account will allow you to bookmark and organize articles and research for easy reference later - making it simple to keep track of the research that's important to you!
Register / Sign in
close-panel

Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

Get Notifications

Sign up to receive email updates from Charlotte Lozier Institute.

Become A Defender of Life

Your donation helps us continue to provide world-class research in defense of life.

DONATE

Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

Fetal Tissue, Stem Cells & Bioethics

New California Grants Once Again Bolster Ethical Stem Cell Alternatives

The most recent round of grants by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) demonstrates – again – where the future of stem cell research lies.

 

As documented in a previous publication on this website, since its first round of grants to specific research projects in 2007, CIRM has been steadily moving away from its original mission to give preferential treatment to funding for human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR).  Instead, after adopting a renewed emphasis on translating research into clinical trials, CIRM has more and more shifted the bulk of its grants towards funding research utilizing adult stem cells and other alternatives to hESCR, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

 

This trend was again clearly on display when in March of this year CIRM distributed $32 million in grants.  All of the money went to nine research projects involving iPSCs; none to hESCR.

 

$10 million grant went to establishing a stem cell bank “responsible for receipt, expansion, quality characterization, safe storage and distribution” of iPSCs.  The fact that to date CIRM has declined to fund the establishment of a similar bank for human embryonic stem cells may reasonably be read as an indication that CIRM sees little value in doing so.[1]

 

Another $16 million was awarded to a program to generate 9,000 iPSC lines, to be made available to stem cell researchers investigating a variety of diseases.  By way of contrast, a previous round of grants (2008) to “support the derivation and propagation of new lines of pluripotent human stem cells” — the “New Cell Lines Awards” — distributed $24 million to 16 recipients.  Eight of those projects involved hESCs (with five of those also including iPSCs).  The other eight funded projects were for iPSC research alone.  In this current round of grants, iPSCs have completely replaced hESCs in funding for the generation of new pluripotent stem cell lines for research.

 

The remaining 2013 funds went to seven projects to collect tissue to generate disease- specific iPSCs for use in disease modeling.  This is an area where iPSCs are proving especially useful in the pursuit of therapies for use in clinical trials.  Disease modeling involves developing an iPSC line using somatic cells taken from a patient with a specific disease, e.g., Alzheimer’s.  These lines then allow researchers to observe the origins and development of the disease and also to test new medicines for the disease.

 

Announcing this round of grants, CIRM characterized them as a “new approach to advance research.”

 

Indeed it is.  And the lack, once again, of funding for hESCR only serves to highlight how old and dated that approach to finding treatments and cures increasingly seems.

 

Gene Tarne is a senior analyst at Charlotte Lozier Institute.

 


[1] One of the nation’s premier banks for storing human embryonic stem cells, the University of Massachusetts Stem Cell Bank, closed in 2012 just four years after it was first approved; press reports noted that the bank had become “obsolete” as a reason for its closure.

Latest Posts

May 29, 2024 Abortion Reporting: West Virginia (2023) May 29, 2024 Abortion Reporting: Indiana (2023) May 23, 2024 United Kingdom Data Deficiencies Influencing U.S. FDA Decisions United Kingdom Data Deficiencies Influencing U.S. FDA Decisions

You Might Also Be Interested In

A Fact-Free Campaign Against Parents and Unborn Children in Alabama

April 22, 2024
ClosePlease login
Lozier Institute Amicus Brief in Support of Ecuador Law Limiting Abortion

Lozier Institute Amicus Brief in Support of Ecuador Law Limiting Abortion

charlotte-lozier-institute Charlotte Lozier Institute
February 21, 2024
ClosePlease login

Public Comment: Lozier Institute on CDC’s Notice of Proposed Modifications to Assisted Reproductive Technology Program Reporting

charlotte-lozier-institute Charlotte Lozier Institute
February 21, 2024
ClosePlease login

Become A Defender of Life

Your donation helps us continue to provide
world-class research in defense of life.

BECOME A PARTNER
cta-image