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California’s Stem Cell Agency Invests in Stem Cell-Based Therapies Targeting Sickle Cell Disease and Cancer

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California’s Stem Cell Agency, today invested almost $10 million in stem cell research targeting sickle cell disease and cancer at its February Board meeting.

The CIRM Board awarded $5.74 million to the City of Hope to fund a Phase 1 clinical trial testing a stem cell-based therapy for adult patients with severe sickle cell disease (SCD). SCD refers to a group of inherited blood disorders that cause red blood cells to take on an abnormal, sickle shape. Sickle cells clog blood vessels and block the normal flow of oxygen-carrying blood to the body’s tissues. Patients with SCD have a reduced life expectancy and experience various complications including anemia, stroke, organ damage, and bouts of excruciating pain.