NOVATO — The Buck Institute for Age Research was awarded $6 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to fund a three-year project aimed at getting a stem cell derived treatment for Parkinson’s disease ready for testing in humans, the institute announced today.
Led by Xianmin Zeng, Ph.D, the research will attempt to produce the type of neurons needed to treat Parkinson’s, a neurological disorder that is one of the effects of aging. The City of Hope, a biotech research and treatment center in Duarte, is a partner in the award.
“It’s one thing to grow neurons from human embryonic stem cells in a Petri dish,” said Dr. Zeng. “It’s another matter entirely to scale up the production of neurons needed to treat patients in a manner that can be tested and validated through each stage of the manufacturing process.”
CIRM’s review of the grant application said Zeng’s proposal “addresses a significant, unmet medical need and, if successful, could have a profound impact.”
The Buck Institute in Novato is devoted solely to basic research on aging and age-associated disease. It is in the process of building a stem cell lab with funds partially supplied by CIRM.
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