CIRM awards $2.29 million to support stem cell-based therapy for knee osteoarthritis

C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr. (Photo by Cristy Lytal)
C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr. (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California’s stem cell agency, has awarded the biopharmaceutical company Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CBMG) $2.29 million to support pre-clinical studies of AlloJoinTM, human fat-derived stem cells for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

The grant will allow the company to perform pre-clinical manufacturing studies at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and to prepare AlloJoinTM for a U.S. Phase I clinical trial with C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr., as the principal investigator and the Keck School of Medicine of USC as a trial site. Vangsness is a USC Stem Cell principal investigator, professor of orthopaedic surgery and chief of sports medicine at the Keck School.

“We thank Dr. C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr., in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Dr. Qing Liu-Michael at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, who helped significantly with the grant application process,” said Tony (Bizuo) Liu, Chief Executive Officer of CBMG. “The CIRM grant is the first step in bringing AlloJoinTM to the U.S. market.”

CBMG recently announced promising interim three-month safety data from a Phase I clinical trial in China for AlloJoinTM. The trial is on schedule to be completed by the third quarter of 2017.