Columbia

2 projects feature academia/for-profit company collaboration

COLUMBIA, Md.(May 20, 2010) – The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission (Commission) has completed its evaluation of the 141 applications in response to its three official Requests for Applications (RFAs)during the FY 2010funding cycle. The board of directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) reviewed the Commission’s recommendations and approved 42 projects totaling $11.7 million in funding through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006.

Grant proposals featuring for-profit and not-for-profit collaboration were favored this funding cycle per the Commission’s request for applications. A total of 12 collaborative projects will be funded featuring collaboration between Maryland universities and for-profit companies. Companies involved in the projects include Life Technologies, Inc.(Invitrogen, Inc.), Lonza Walkersville, Inc., Q Therapeutics, Inc., Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., Pfizer Inc.,  and Quality Biological, Inc. Other projects also include collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the University of Miami Lenard M. Miller School of Medicine.

“Year after year, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund attracts some of the best and brightest in stem cell research as demonstrated by the diversity and distinctiveness of these projects,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Our state’s program creates jobs, stimulates our economy and brings national attention to the talents of Maryland researchers and institutes.”

This year’s projects recommended for funding include:

• 5 applications for RFA-MD-10-1 (Investigator-Initiated Research Grants) – These grants are designed for investigators with preliminary data supporting the grant application. These Investigator-Initiated Research Grants will be for up to $1 million of direct costs over a two-to -five year project.

• 19 applications for RFA-MD-10-2 (Exploratory Research Grants) – These grants are designed for investigators who are new to the stem cell field  and for new hypotheses, approaches, mechanisms or models that may differ from current thinking in the stem cell field, without any preliminary data supporting the application.These Exploratory Research Grants will be for up to $100,000 of direct costs per year, for up to two years. Preference was not given to collaborative projects in this funding category. 

• 18applications for RFA-MD-10-03 (Post-Doctoral Fellowship Research Grants) – These grants are designed for post-doctorial fellows who wish to conduct basic and/or transitional research MSCRF Awards 42 Grants / Page 2on all types of human stem cells in Maryland. These Post-Doctoral Research Grants will be for up to $55,000 of direct, indirect and fringe benefits costs per year, for up to two years.

For a complete list of the names of the Principal Investigators, the title of each project and the institution at which the Principal Investor works, please visit our website.

Grants awarded from the MSCRF are contingent upon the Principal Investigator having obtained all applicable ethical approvals to conduct the research and having signed an agreement with TEDCO setting forth the scope of each project and the requirements for sharing of any new cells lines and publication of results.

“The Commission is particularly pleased with the quality    of submissions proposing collaborations between the academic and for-profit communities,” said Karen Rothenberg, chair of the Commission. “These projects are a testament to the progress of our stem cell program as they demonstrate a clear connection to innovative medical research and economic development. We look forward to the work ahead and congratulate our awardees.”

The final amount of each award will be determined during the due diligence process and will be listed in the MSCRF annual report scheduled to be released in December 2010.

About TEDCO

TEDCO enhances economic development growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology companies in Maryland.

Media Contact
Tammi Thomas, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, TEDCO
tthomas@tedco.md