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Program Snapshot

The Common Fund Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) is at a transition point.  With an overarching goal of working through hurdles to the development of iPS cell therapies, the CRM will focus in two ways. First, translational hurdles will be assessed and resolved through the conduct of a translational project led by Dr. Kapil Bharti (described below). Second, cross-cutting challenges will be addressed through partnership with the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). These challenges were considered with input from experts in stem cell translational research via a May 2014 workshop (Read the workshop summary here). A set of objectives stemming from this workshop and an implementation plan for the NCATS-CRM activities will be developed and posted on this website this fall.

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Program Highlights

NIH CRM issues a Therapeutic Challenge Award to Dr. Kapil Bharti at the National Eye Institute.
A Therapeutic Challenge award made by the NIH Common Fund and the NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine to Dr. Bharti will advance his efforts to develop a cell therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. The proposed research will use cells taken from adult tissues that are coaxed into behaving as pluripotent stem cells, which are capable of developing into any type of cell in the body. These induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells will be used to generate retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, a critical cell type damaged in AMD, which could potentially be transplanted into patients to restore or improve vision. Learn more about Dr. Bharti’s research here.

Important Announcement About Status of NIH CRM

 NIH CRM remains active! Despite conflicting reports in the press, NIH CRM has not closed. NIH CRM is currently at a transition point. Its first phase helped launch a Translational Challenge Project, awarded to Dr. Kapil Bharti in the National Eye Institute, who is working toward a stem cell-based therapy for blindness. The second phase of the program will address methodological or technical hurdles that currently impede therapeutic use of induced pluripotent stem cells. A May workshop with leaders in the field helped prioritize challenges to be addressed (Read the workshop summary here). Updates on plans for NIH CRM will be posted on this website as they become available this fall. For more details, please visit http://commonfund.nih.gov/stemcells/overview.

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