Novocell Gets $20 Million Award
San Diego’s Novocell has received a disease team award totaling $20 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to fund work on its cell therapy for type 2 diabetes. The team includes scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, which will receive $2.8 million. Novocell’s research involves transforming embryonic stem cells into insulin-secreting beta cells that can be implanted into patients as an alternative to insulin injections. Novocell, a venture-backed company, told CIRM it would be ready to begin clinical trials in three years, but CIRM scientific reviewers said a more realistic estimate was four years.