Medical Research Charities > News > Parkinson’s therapy funded by California’s stem cell agency, SD Union Tribune

Parkinson’s therapy funded by California’s stem cell agency, SD Union Tribune

San Diego-based project gets $2.4 million from CIRM for preclinical work

Advancing a years-long quest for a stem cell treatment for Parkinson’s disease, a San Diego nonprofit has received a $2.4 million grant from California’s stem cell agency.

The group, Summit for Stem Cell, proposes to replace brain cells destroyed by Parkinson’s with replacement brain cells. These cells make the neurotransmitter dopamine, which enables movement. Success could relieve symptoms for many years, giving patients a normal life.

Cheers erupted from group members after the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s governing board approved the funding and other research grants at its meeting Thursday in La Jolla. California voters created CIRM in 2004 under Proposition 71, appropriating $3 billion in bond money to fund its work.

“I’ve wanted to believe this was going to happen for so long,” said group member Cassandra Peters, who has Parkinson’s.

“Today, I’m going to go home, look in the mirror, and say, ‘Parkinson’s, your days are numbered in this house.'”

The grant enables the group to get near the point where it can ask regulatory permission to begin clinical trials, said Scripps Health neurologist Dr. Melissa Houser, who leads clinical development. Stem cell researcher Jeanne Loring of The Scripps Research Institute leads the basic research.

Click here to read the full article by Bradley J. Fikes, The San Diego Union Tribune.