California’s Stem Cell Agency (CIRM) has awarded $19.9 million to ImmunoCellular Therapeutics to carry out a phase III clinical trial in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma using an immunotherapeutic vaccine.
“This kind of deadly disease is precisely why we created CIRM 2.0, our new approval process to accelerate the development of therapies for patients with unmet medical needs,” said C. Randal Mills, PhD, CIRM’s President and CEO. “People battling glioblastoma cannot afford to wait years for us to agree to fund a treatment when their survival can often be measured in just months. We wanted a process that was more responsive to the needs of patients, and that could help companies like ImmunoCellular get their potentially lifesaving therapies into clinical trials as quickly as possible.”
The ImmunoCellular therapy targets six cell surface proteins that are found on glioblastoma cancer stem cells. The company plans to recruit about 400 patients at 120 clinical trial sites around the United States, Canada, and Europe.
“We share [the Agency’s] commitment to advancing potential breakthrough stem cell–based therapies to patients with unmet medical needs,” said Andrew Gengos, ImmunoCellular President and CEO. “With this important grant [plus other revenue], we are in position to cover the full cost of conducting the trial and ensure high-quality trial execution.” ■