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TEDCO Announces $8.5 Million in New Stem Cell Program Awards Via Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission

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The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission approved funding for 29 awards for a total of more than $8.5 million. These awards will be distributed between six different research institutes and six companies and will address over 20 different diseases and conditions.

Established by the governor and the Maryland General Assembly through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) promotes state-funded stem cell research and cures through grants to both public and private entities in Maryland. Both the commission and the MSCRF are administered by TEDCO, which provides entrepreneurial support and guidance for start-ups and early-stage companies engaged in bringing innovative ideas to market.

“The awards announced here are the first in our new Accelerating Cure initiative. They represent some of the most advanced regenerative medicine projects that are being undertaken,” said Rabbi Avram Reisner, chair of the commission. “These awardees, which include several clinical trials, are at the leading edge of medical innovation and exemplify the purpose and mission of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.”

Among the awards are two designed for researchers to conduct clinical trials in Maryland using human stem cells to advance medical therapies. Totaling $1.5 million, the clinical award recipients are Gurdyal Kalsi, M.D., of TissueGene, Inc. and Joshua Hare, M.D., of Longeveron LLC.  Dr. Kalsi is directing the clinical development of TissueGene's injectable therapy for knee osteoarthritis called Invossa™, a genetically modified allogeneic cell therapy that will soon be entering Phase III clinical trials in the U.S. Dr. Jare is leading Longeveron’s clinical research trial into an allogeneic human mesenchymal stem cells (LMSCs®) therapy for Alzheimer's disease.   

Other awards went to assist the creation of start-up companies or technologies developed in Maryland-based companies; grants to foster the transition of promising stem cell technologies having significant commercial potential from universities and research labs to the commercial sector; funding for innovative research ideas in the stem cell field without preliminary data; and awards that support post-doctoral fellows who wish to conduct research in academia or in industry in Maryland.

“The commission also approved beginning a facilitated roundtable discussion group for the new post-doctoral fellowships awardees in order to build camaraderie and help them establish a strong foundation in translational regenerative medicine and boost future commercialization of their ideas and innovations,” stated Dan Gincel, Ph.D., MSCRF executive director. “The commission further approved a second round of applications for the Validation and Commercialization Programs in mid-July, with awards announced as early as September.”

All MSCRF-funded research must be conducted in Maryland and must involve human stem cells. For more details about the fund and the recent reward recipients, visit http://www.mscrf.org/content/awardees/2017Awardees.php.

Learn more:

http://www.mscrf.org/documents/MdStemCellResearchFund_May2017FINAL.pdf
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/longeveron-achieves-milestone-in-groundbreaking-stem-cell-trial-for-alzheimers-disease-300424206.html
https://www.tissuegene.com/