CWRU receives $5 million from Ohio Third Frontier Commission

June 25, 2009

CLEVELAND - June 25, 2009 -The Center for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine (CSCRM), comprised of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland Clinic (CC), University Hospitals (UH), and Athersys, Inc. has received $5 million from Ohio's Third Frontier Commission under the Research Commercialization Program. The funding will help support new and innovative stem cell technologies including two commercial, four emerging and three pilot projects. This funding will be matched by each of the projects to create a $10 million grant benefiting stem cell and regenerative medicine in Ohio.

"This funding provides CSCRM the support it needs to continue to aggressively move new technologies from academic labs towards commercial development," said Stan Gerson, Director of the Center for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine. "We have linked corporate partners to our major projects and have been gratified by the development of a stem cell biotechnology commercial landscape in our region. Our goal is to rapidly move stem cell research from the lab to patients through clinical trials, using our strong background in preclinical models."

The continued research efforts will result in efficient clinical applications and commercialization of stem cells to benefit patients throughout Ohio. To date, such efforts have brought in $170 million in new commercial development and investment in Ohio.

"This grant continues to build distinctive and broad reach capabilities that are making Ohio a leader in the development and clinical use of cellular therapies," said Baiju R. Shah, President and CEO of BioEnterprise. "Ohioans benefit both through the resulting company development and jobs as well as by having access to leading-edge clinical therapies at our region's clinical institutions."

The use of stem cells has focused on leukemia and myeloma treatments with recent applications in cardiovascular disease. Current healthcare is limited to the use of drugs or devices to treat disease and injury. CSCRM, located in Northeast Ohio but collaborating state wide, is uniquely positioned to rapidly implement new stem cell technologies in the commercial and therapeutic arenas.

"I can see stem cells replacing drugs to improve many diseases," said Dr. Gerson. "Stem cells can replace injured cells, improve the function of many organs in the body and provide specific new functions to treat many diseases."

The Third Frontier funding will support the following commercial, emerging and pilot programs:

Commercial programs

The commercial projects are expected to generate significant near term value for the sponsoring companies and the State of Ohio.Emerging programs

With further refinement of already established proof of concept, the following programs could mature into significant opportunities for CSCRM and the region.Pilot programs

The pilot projects represent early stage, cutting edge scientific projects that were developed in the Center. While these projects are at an early stage, they were selected based upon their significance to the field and their potential economic impact if successfully matured. Funding for the three projects will be accompanied by a subset of eight new pilot projects determined through review by CSCRM oversight committees. The CSCRM Administration, led by Debra Grega and Michael Gilkey, is responsible for coordinating, accounting and reporting on all of these projects, continuing and creating education programs on stem cells and regenerative medicine for middle school through graduate level students, executing a biennial international stem cell conference (MSC 2009), interfacing and cultivating new commercial interactions, developing new research collaborations within the State as well as internationally, and representing the Center in scientific conferences and public events.
-end-
About the Center for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine

The Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine is a multi-institutional center composed of over 100 investigators from Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, Athersys, Inc., and Ohio State University. Building on the 30 year history of adult stem cell research in northeast Ohio, the Center was created in 2003 with a $19.4 million award from the State of Ohio as a Wright Center of Innovation. An additional $8 million award in 2006 from the State of Ohio's Biomedical Research and Commercialization Program further validated the Center's ability to achieve its mission to utilize human stem cell and tissue engineering technologies to treat human disease. In 2009, $5 million was awarded by the Ohio Third Frontier Program to continue the commercialization of new stem cell and related technologies. Since its inception, CSCRM has effectively identified and developed appropriate stem cell therapeutics into clinical therapies and commercial biomedical opportunities based on preclinical work at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic; clinical validation studies at University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic; commercial translation of new technologies by Oakwood Laboratories, Orthopediatrics and Cell Targeting; and new commercially sponsored clinical trials in Ohio by Athersys and Juventas Therapeutics. http://www.thestemcellcenter.org.

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 770 M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News and World Report "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine's primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002. http://casemed.case.edu.

Case Western Reserve University

Related Stem Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

SUTD researchers create heart cells from stem cells using 3D printing
SUTD researchers 3D printed a micro-scaled physical device to demonstrate a new level of control in the directed differentiation of stem cells, enhancing the production of cardiomyocytes.

More selective elimination of leukemia stem cells and blood stem cells
Hematopoietic stem cells from a healthy donor can help patients suffering from acute leukemia.

Computer simulations visualize how DNA is recognized to convert cells into stem cells
Researchers of the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW - The Netherlands) and the Max Planck Institute in Münster (Germany) have revealed how an essential protein helps to activate genomic DNA during the conversion of regular adult human cells into stem cells.

First events in stem cells becoming specialized cells needed for organ development
Cell biologists at the University of Toronto shed light on the very first step stem cells go through to turn into the specialized cells that make up organs.

Surprising research result: All immature cells can develop into stem cells
New sensational study conducted at the University of Copenhagen disproves traditional knowledge of stem cell development.

The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer
Stem cells are true Jacks-of-all-trades of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs.

Healthy blood stem cells have as many DNA mutations as leukemic cells
Researchers from the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology have shown that the number of mutations in healthy and leukemic blood stem cells does not differ.

New method grows brain cells from stem cells quickly and efficiently
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a faster method to generate functional brain cells, called astrocytes, from embryonic stem cells.

NUS researchers confine mature cells to turn them into stem cells
Recent research led by Professor G.V. Shivashankar of the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy, has revealed that mature cells can be reprogrammed into re-deployable stem cells without direct genetic modification -- by confining them to a defined geometric space for an extended period of time.

Researchers develop a new method for turning skin cells into pluripotent stem cells
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have for the first time succeeded in converting human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells by activating the cell's own genes.

Read More: Stem Cells News and Stem Cells Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.