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CIRM and NHLBI Collaborating to Fund Cell and Gene Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have entered into a “landmark” collaboration to co-fund and help speed the development of cell and gene therapies to cure sickle cell disease (SCD), according to a press release.

The agreement was created under the National Institutes of Health’s “Cure Sickle Cell” initiative, led by NHLBI, the goal of which is to take advantage of the latest genetic discoveries and technological advances to move the most promising genetic-based therapies into clinical trials within five to 10 years.

This new collaboration will take advantage of CIRM’s vast resources and expertise, which have already resulted in more than 50 clinical trials in stem cell and regenerative medicine, and will provide lines of co-funding to CIRM-sponsored research.

“There is a real need for a new approach to treating SCD and making life easier for people with SCD and their families,” said Adrienne Shapiro, mother of a child with the disease and co-founder of Axis Advocacy.