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Stem Cell Science Holds Opportunities as Important Tool for Diabetes Research Beyond Cell-Based Treatments
Date:10/2/2007

le diseases including diabetes.

In the last five years, JDRF has funded more than $40 million in research utilizing adult and embryonic stem cells in the U.S. and around the world. JDRF committed funds early on for the derivation of new stem cell lines, and last year spent about $3 million on research utilizing embryonic stem cells and about $1.6 million on adult stem cells. In total, JDRF funded some $137 million in science last year aimed at developing cures and therapeutics for type 1 diabetes and its complications.

Mr. Donald noted that JDRF has recently developed a number of initiatives to support new programs in research, including science utilizing stem cells, in order to attract new scientific talent to the field and stimulate creative thinking about diabetes research. He specifically pointed to JDRF's recently initiated Industry Discovery and Development Partnership program, a "trend- setting program for a non-profit organization." Through the IDDP program, JDRF makes matching grants -- or sometimes invests side-by-side with venture capitalists -- in high-promise projects at for-profit businesses, typically small start-ups or spin-offs. The program now includes 14 partnerships with companies, representing some $20 million, which are involved in pre-clinical research, as well as Phase 1 and Phase 2 human clinical trials.

Through the IDDP program, JDRF partnered with a Pittsburgh-based company, Stemnion, to investigate the ability of stem cells found on the inner membrane of the amnion to differentiate into insulin-secreting cells. JDRF also funded stem cell research at San Diego-based Novocell that resulted in the generation of GMP quality embryonic stem cell lines.

JDRF was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with type 1 diabetes - - a disease that strikes children, adolescents, and adults suddenly, makes them insulin-dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Since inception, JDRF has pr
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SOURCE Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
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