Stem cell institute to work with foreign agencies

Posted: April 1, 2012 at 3:08 pm

California's $3 billion stem cell agency, now more than 7 years old, has joined research partnerships with science and health agencies in eight foreign countries, the San Francisco institute announced.

The agreements call for collaboration in efforts aimed at speeding stem cell research from the laboratory to the hospital, where researchers hope that basic human cells will be programmed to treat scores of human degenerative diseases.

Research partnerships between American and foreign stem cell scientists are encouraged, but the California institute's funds would only be spent within the state, institute officials said.

Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, signed agreements with stem cell funding agencies in Brazil and Argentina last week, he said Thursday.

"Both Brazil and Argentina have strong and robust stem cell research communities in basic science and transitional clinical science, which should create exciting synergies with many scientists in California," Trounson said in a statement.

He has signed similar pacts with stem cell agencies in Canada, Britain, France, Spain, Australia, Japan, China and Indiana.

The California institute was created in 2004 after Proposition 71, a $3 billion bond issue, was approved by California voters at a time when use of federal funds was barred for research into the promising field of embryonic stem cells.

So far the state agency has committed $1.2 billion to scientists and training centers at 56 California institutions, and the rest of the bond money should last until 2020, a spokesman said.

This article appeared on page C - 9 of the SanFranciscoChronicle

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Stem cell institute to work with foreign agencies

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