Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Announces Over $14 Million in Awards to Accelerate Stem Cell Cures
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission is pleased to announce over $14.1 million in grant awards to promote innovative research that will strengthen and advance stem cell treatments and technologies in Maryland. This is the largest amount awarded to Maryland-based institutions and companies since 2010 and was made possible as a result of increased funding from the State. This is also the first time that the Commission awarded funding to Maryland-based companies under MSCRF’s new Manufacturing Assistance Program, established to boost cell therapy manufacturing capabilities in the State.
39 scientists from Maryland-based research institutions and companies will be receiving awards from this round of funding to advance research addressing an array of medical conditions, including cancer, eye, heart, bone, blood, digestive, and central nervous system diseases. Awardees include academic scientists from Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Lieber Institute for Brain Development, Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger and The Geneva Foundation. From the commercial sector, awardees include Vita Therapeutics, Inc., Theradaptive, Inc., Caring Cross, Inc., RoosterBio, Inc. and Reprocell U.S.A., Inc.
Awardees submitted proposals to the Commission in response to its Request for Applications (RFAs) for its second round of funding in fiscal year 2023. Earlier this fiscal year, the Commission awarded an additional $4.2 million in research grants.
“We remain committed to supporting the researchers and companies in Maryland to advance stem cell research and ultimately improve the lives of patients suffering from a wide range of diseases and conditions,” said Diane Hoffmann, chair of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission. “With the new Manufacturing Assistance Program, we hope to accelerate the development and delivery of stem cell therapies in a timely and cost-effective manner, and to attract and retain an advanced manufacturing work force in the region.”
Dr. Ruchika Nijhara, the new executive director of MSCRF added, “We believe that the funds for manufacturing assistance, which approach $1,000,000 per project, will enable our stem cell businesses to overcome manufacturing challenges they face in today’s economy and give Maryland a competitive advantage.”
With the support of governor Wes Moore and the Maryland General Assembly, MSCRF has a current budget of $20.5 million for fiscal year 2024. The Commission has also issued RFAs for its first-round of 2024 funding in hopes of continuing to accelerating cutting-edge research and cures through the various programs of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF). All applications are due by July 13, 2023.
“The MSCRF team is dedicated to supporting advances in stem cell research and will be delighted to work with stem cell researchers and/or businesses in this round of funding and answer any questions related to the RFAs”, said Nijhara.
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