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CIRM, Johns Hopkins University Press, Biotechnology Industry Organization, University of North Carolina, Charlotte Research Institute, Med BioGene, Duke University


CIRM Announces $75M in Grants for California Stem Cell Scientists
One month after approving almost $45 million for embryonic stem cell research, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine on Friday authorized an additional $75.7 million in funds for 29 research projects to scientists at 12 non-profit and academic institutions.
The comprehensive, four-year grants will support mature, ongoing studies on human embryonic stem cells by scientists with a record of accomplishment in the field, CIRM said. They were designed for investigators with “well-developed expertise in hESC research or in a closely related field to pursue new directions in hESC research,” the institute said.
Institutes receiving funding include the University of California, San Francisco, with seven grants totaling $17.4 million; Stanford University, six grants, $15.2 million; UC San Diego, three grants for $7.5 million; UC Irvine, three grants, $7.4 million; Burnham Institute for Medical Research, two grants, $6.1 million; UCLA, two grants, $5 million; UC Davis, two grants, $4.8 million; J. Davis Gladstone Institutes, one grant, $3.2 million; Salk Institute for Biological Studies, one grant, $2.9 million; CHA Regenerative Medicine Institute, one grant, $2.6 million; and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, one grant, $2.6 million.
A full description of individual grants, institutions, principal investigators, and award amounts can be found here.

Johns Hopkins Press Gives AUTM Discount for Tech-Transfer Journal
The Johns Hopkins University Press and the Association for University Technology Managers last week announced an agreement to jointly promote and expand the dissemination of scholarly work in the field of technology transfer.
Under the agreement, print or electronic versions of Comparative Technology Transfer and Society will be offered to AUTM members at a 25-percent discount.
CTTS is an interdisciplinary, international, comparative academic journal that explores issues involved in tech transfer. Its editorial offices reside at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and it is published by Johns Hopkins University Press under contract.

BIO to Feature New ‘Emerging Technologies’ Exhibit at 2007 Conference
The Biotechnology Industry Organization last week announced the addition of an emerging technologies-specific area to the exhibition floor at the 2007 BIO annual conference, to be held May 6-9 in Boston.
The Emerging Technologies Area will be open on Monday, May 7, and Tuesday, May 8. Registered attendees who have access to the BIO exhibition hall will have full access to the new area.
Exhibitors in the Emerging Technologies Area will be given a one-day tabletop display and two exhibition-only passes for all three days of the conference at a reduced rate of $500 per day. In order to be considered, companies must be less than three years old, have fewer than 15 employees, and have been formed after 2003. Space is limited to 50 companies per day and granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Charlotte Research Institute Hosts $100K Business Plan Competition
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the Charlotte Research Institute last week announced the launch of its annual Five Ventures business plan competition and conference.
Charlotte-area entrepreneurs have submitted business plans to compete for more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind services, and will present their plans to more than 25 local judges at the Charlotte Research Institute on March 21.
The top five scorers become Five Ventures finalists, and will subsequently present their business concepts at the Five Ventures Summit on April 12.
Presenting teams include: 
  • Accunetix, which has created a molecular diagnostic relevant to a wide range of healthcare applications including infectious diseases and cancer.
  • Acphazin, a biopharmaceutical company developing cancer therapeutics.
  •  A-Metrics, which has developed a sensor technology to track changes in pressure, temperature, humidity, and vibration frequencies for applications such as breast cancer detection, sonar devices, and voice recognition.
  • HepatoSys, which has developed a technology to restore the function of donor livers for use in transplantation and to evaluate the integrity of donor livers.
  •  Kiyatec, which proposes to reduce the time and cost associated with pre-clinical drug discovery through improved correlation of lab-based results and clinical trials.

Med BioGene and Duke to Jointly Develop Biomarkers for Lymphoma, Leukemia
Med BioGene this week said that it has entered into a research collaboration and option agreement with Duke University to further develop and validate MBI’s genetic biomarkers for lymphoma and leukemia using its Gene Expression Profiling System.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Duke will provide MBI a certain number of samples from patients with clinically confirmed lymphoma and leukemia for genetic analysis by MBI. Duke and MBI will collaborate on further analysis of those results, and Duke will grant MBI an option to acquire exclusive worldwide licensing rights to the intellectual property developed under the collaboration.
MBI will reimburse Duke for certain expenditures, and then pay undisclosed royalties to Duke on revenue received from product commercialization, and Duke will be entitled to publish the results of the research, subject to review by MBI.
“The development of these biomarkers is the first step towards personalized medicine and is intended to replace the conventional ‘one drug fits all’ approach to disease management,” Erinn Broshko, CEO of MBI, said in a statement.

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.