Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Parkinson's disease webinar focuses on developing therapies

This Thursday we're holding a webinar with the FDA and scientists focusing on overcoming challenges in moving stem cell therapies for Parkinson's disease into the clinic. The target audience for this webinar is the scientists themselves but we welcome participants who are interested in hearing more about the challenges faces by these researchers. There's information about the speakers and registration details on the webinar agenda page.

From the beginning, Parkinson's disease has been a focus of the agency, a passion led by Joan Samuelson of Parkinson’s Action Network who is a strong patient advocate and early supporter of Proposition 71 (which launched CIRM). She has been a member of our board since our inception. Joan is a tireless in her pursuit of a cure and she has educated us all on the terrible impact Parkinson’s disease has on an individual’s daily life.

We've now approved $44 million in funding awards focused on Parkinson's disease. You can see those on our Parkinson's disease fact sheet along with videos about our funded research.

My colleague Rosa Canet-Aviles (the Parkinson’s expert within CIRM’s Science Office) gathered an amazing array of thought leaders for a workshop in March of 2013 and the result is a set of seven recommendations for facilitating a clinical trial for cell therapy in Parkinson’s, which are outlined in a white paper (you can read the Parkinson's disease white paper on our website, or read our blog entry for a summary).

That white paper and the recommendations in it form the background for the upcoming webinar. Please join us at the webinar to learn more about how we'll be supporting our grantees who are working to develop therapies for this terrible disease.

Cynthia Schaffer

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