Samuel Strober awarded $6.6 million from state stem cell agency

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded Samuel Strober, MD, $6.6 million to study a “deceptively simple” way to help kidney transplant recipients tolerate their new organ.

Samuel Strober

Samuel Strober, MD, a professor of medicine, was awarded $6.6 million by the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine on Dec. 15 to conduct a phase-1 clinical trial to test a new way of inhibiting the rejection of transplanted kidneys. The award marks the 10th clinical trial funded by the institute in 2016.

The clinical trial will test whether injecting blood stem cells and T cells from the kidney donor at the time of transplant will enable the recipient to more readily accept the new organ. The institute called the approach, which would hopefully eliminate the need for ongoing immunosuppressive drug treatment, “deceptively simple” in a blog post about the awards.

About 17,000 kidney transplants are performed in the United States each year. Recipients must undergo a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs, which increase their risks of infection, cancer and heart disease.

Strober’s award was one of two approved at the meeting. The other was an $8.3 million award to University of California-Irvine researcher Henry Klassen, MD, PhD, and the biotech company jCyte to continue clinical trials on a treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive, inherited eye disease that causes blindness in early adulthood. 

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