Two projects to address COVID-19 related complications
COLUMBIA, Md. (September 15, 2020)— The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission (Commission) has approved funding to the first round of FY2021 recipients for a total of $1,187,680. With these Clinical and Commercialization awards, the Commission continues to accelerate cutting-edge research and cures through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF).
“During these challenging times it is critical that we continue to innovate and develop treatments for unmet medical needs, including those related to COVID-19,” said Dr. Debra Mathews, Chair of the Commission. “We remain committed to Accelerating Cures and are delighted to support these companies and to enable the vital and pressing work of developing treatments for COVID-19 patients in Maryland and beyond.”
The first round of MSCRF awards for the 2021 fiscal year include:
- 1 Clinical: This award is for Universities/Research Institutes or Companies that wish to conduct human stem cell-based clinical trials in the State of Maryland. $650,000 was awarded to Dr. Anthony Oliva from Longeveron LLC to evaluate Longeveron Mesenchymal Stem Cells (LMSCs) for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19 and Flu.
- 2 Commercialization: This award is for a Maryland-based start-up company to develop new human stem cell-based products. Totaling $537,680, the commercialization grants were awarded to Dr. Bhanu Telugu from RenOVAte Biosciences Inc to Generate Human Liver in Pigs and Dr. Amir Saberi from Domicell Inc to develop Intravascular Bioreactor Delivery of Anti-Inflammatory Paracrine Factors to Treat ARDS.
“We are pleased to add these recent recipients to our portfolio and support them in developing novel solutions for hepatic insufficiency and ARDS, a life-threatening complication seen in COVID-19 patients”, said Dr. Amritha Jaishankar, Associate Director of MSCRF.
Established under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006, the MSCRF promotes state-funded stem cell research and cures through grants to both public and private entities in Maryland. MSCRF is currently budgeted to commit up to $8.2 million, in aggregate, in FY2021 to fund grants under all of its RFAs.
More information about all current MSCRF awardees is available at https://www.mscrf.org/awardees. MSCRF offers funding through six different programs to Accelerate Cures. The next round of RFAs will be released in early October. To learn more and apply visit https://www.mscrf.org/funding-opportunities.
About the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission is focused on identifying and fostering cutting-edge research and innovation in the field of regenerative medicine in Maryland. Our Accelerating Cures initiative comprises programs that help transition human stem cell-based technologies from the bench to the bedside as well as mechanisms to build and grow stem cell companies in Maryland. Visit us at www.mscrf.org to learn more about our funding opportunities.