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Novartis Deal Boosts CIRM Approach  
-- The California Stem Cell Report, May 23, 2023  The therapy was sold for $87.5 million by Avrobio, Inc., of Cambridge, Ma., to Novartis AG, a $52-billion-a-year firm based in Switzerland. The treatment was developed by Stephanie Cherqui of UC San Diego. For Novartis, the deal adds to a pipeline of gene therapies led by the marketed treatments Zolgensma and Luxturna.

Beaker List - Top 23 Female Academic Entrepreneurs  
-- BIOS Community, March 07, 2023  In honor of International Women's Day 2023, BIOS community have put together the "Top 23 Women in Academic Entrepreneurship" that have changed the life sciences ecosystem.

Scientists Receive $4.8M to Pursue Gene Therapy for 'Incurable' Disease  
-- UC San Diego Today, December 01, 2022  CIRM grant will fund novel gene therapy aiming for one-time, lifelong treatment of Friedreich’s ataxia, a progressive neuromuscular disorder; second CIRM grant will advance efforts to leverage UC San Diego research on another rare disease

Side Effects May Include … A Completely New Hair Color?  
-- The Atlantic, June 22, 2022  An experimental therapy helped patients with a rare disease feel better. It also led to an accidental makeover.

Stephanie Cherqui and Natalie's Wish: Finding a Gene Therapy for Cystinosis
 The story of what has driven UC San Diego's Stephanie Cherqui to develop a gene therapy for Cystinosis, a devastating inherited condition.


UC San Diego Department of Pediatrics - News Flash
July 29, 2020 
The Department of Pediatrics is excited to share this news clip  that highlights Dr. Stephanie Cherqui's experimental gene therapy approach to treating cystinosis.   Stem cells taken from patient's peripheral blood were re-engineered to produce functional cystinosin, the protein defective in cystinosis.  The patient was then reinfused with his own cystinosin-producing cells.
BestLife news

Poseidon Innovation Announces Funding for Three UC San Diego Researchers
-- UC San Diego News Center, June 26, 2020  Poseidon Innovation, a joint collaboration between the University of California San Diego and Deerfield Management Company, is pleased to announce in its first round of funding it will support three UC San Diego researchers.

'A Tornado at the Front Door, a Tsunami at the Back Door' 
-- UC San Diego News Center, January 23, 2020  The fist Cystinosis patient underwent new gene-and-stem cell therapy developed by School of Medicine researchers. 



AVROBIO Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 1/2 Trial of Gene Therapy for Cystinosis 
-- BusinessWire, October 8, 2019.  The first cystinosis patient was transplanted on October 7, 2019, a day that will forever be remembered as a historic day for adults and children with cystinosis and their families. The gene therapy is derived from the patient's own hematopoietic stem cells, which are genetically modified to produce functional cystinosin, a crucial protien that patients with cystinosis lack. With the first transplant comes hope that this may be a permanent cure for cystinosis.  Cystinosis-pic-2.jpg

CIRM Board Approves New Clinical Trial for Rare Childhood Disease 
-- Official Blog of CIRM, June 20, 2019  Today the governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) approved a grant of almost $12 million to Dr. Stephanie Cherqui at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to conduct a clinical trial for treatment of cystinosis.

Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Cherqui!
May 15, 2019
Dr. Stephanie Cherqui was honored today with the Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego Scientist Award of Excellence Award for her research work on cystinosis.
Radys Award Cherqui

How To Fight A Rare Disease — or Two: Benefit #60 Of CIRM 
-- Don C. Reed, February 10, 2019  Imagine a disease, terrible in its effects, but only a few people have it… would big pharmacy corporations invest billions of dollars required to find and develop its cure? Probably not. But what if there was a way to cure two rare diseases — or more — with one therapy? Suddenly, the market multiplies.

FDA Approved First Human Clinical Trials for Cystinosis  The Cystinosis Research Foundation (CRF), the largest provider of grants for cystinosis research in the world, today announced that the Federal Drug Administration granted approval for the first human clinical trial for stem cell and gene therapy treatment for cystinosis. Over the last 12 years, CRF has provided more than $4.3 million in research funding to Dr. Cherqui. She will be leading the trial at UC San Diego in San Diego, California...

Cystinosis Research Foundation Announces Federal Drug Administration Approval for First Human Clinical Trials

-- BusinessWire, January 17, 2019  The Cystinosis Research Foundation (CRF), the largest provider of grants for cystinosis research in the world, today announced that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for the first human clinical trial for stem cell and gene therapy treatment for cystinosis. Dr. Cherqui is the researcher whose pioneering work led to the new therapy and she will be leading the trial at UC San Diego Health in San Diego, California.

Cells Talk and Help One Another via Tiny Tube Networks 
-- Quantamagazine, April 23. 2018 by Viviane Callier.
Cells Talking Animation

Transplanted Hematopoietic Stem Cells Reverse Damage Caused by Neuro-Muscular Disorder 
-- Newswise, October 25, 2017  Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that a single infusion of wildtype hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) into a mouse model of Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) measurably halted cellular damage caused by the degenerative disease. The findings, published online in the October 25 issue of Science Translational Medicine, suggest a potential therapeutic approach for a disease that currently is considered incurable. In their study, Stephanie Cherqui, PhD, associate professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, and colleagues used a transgenic mouse model that expresses two mutant human FXN transgenes, exhibiting progressive neurological degeneration and muscle weakness. Reprint »  | Full Text » 
News STM

Blood Stem Cell Transplants Treat Neurodegenerative Disease in Mice (Video) 
-- EurekAlert. by Carla Schaffer / C.J. Rocca et al. / American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A Steady Increase in Women Leading the Biggest Research Grants 
-- UCSD News Center, November 9, 2017  Women Researchers Cherqui
Six of the top 10 research health science grants awarded to UC San Diego this year are led by women. An analysis of the top 40 research awards since fiscal year 2013 on the main campus and in health sciences combined shows a steady increase in the number and cumulative dollar amount of large research grants headed by women.

AVROBIO, Inc. Expands Rare Disease Pipeline with Gene Therapy to Treat Cystinosis  
-- Business Wire, October 4, 2017 Avrobio, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing transformative, life-changing gene therapies for rare diseases, today announced the expansion of its pipeline to cystinosis. This program becomes AVROBIO’s fourth gene therapy for lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), and with an anticipated IND filing later this year is expected to enter the clinic in early 2018. “This cystinosis program is a strong strategic fit with our pipeline,” said Geoff MacKay, AVROBIO’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to partner with Dr. Stephanie Cherqui and her team at the University of San Diego (UCSD), as well as with GenStem Therapeutics, Inc., as we share their vision of developing a novel and potentially transformative gene therapy for the treatment of patients with cystinosis.”

A life-threatening childhood disease and the CIRM-funded team seeking a stem cell cure featured in new video  
-- Official Blog of California's Stem Cell Agency, April 13, 2017  “My hope for Brooke is she can one day look back and we have to remind her of the disease she once had.” That’s Clay Emerson’s biggest hope for his young daughter Brooke, who has cystinosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that appears by the age of two and over time causes damage to many organs, especially the kidneys and eyes but also the liver, muscle, brain, pancreas and other tissues. UCSD researcher Dr. Stephanie Cherqui, who is also featured in the video, received $5 million in CIRM funding to bring her team’s therapy to clinical trials in people.

2017 Natalie’s Wish Celebration
. -- CRF, April 1, 2017 Hope filled the room as the Cystinosis Research Foundation, the largest fund provider of cystinosis research in the world, held its Natalie’s Wish Celebration at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. The event was a record-breaking success, raising $3.5 million for cystinosis research. More than 475 guests attended the gala including 56 cystinosis families from around the world from Canada, Australia, Sweden, France, Ireland & Norway. The inspirational event concluded with all donations raised by cystinosis families, CRF friends and the community going to fund cystinosis research.

Cystinosis Research Foundation Grants Support Scientific Studies on Cell Function, New Treatments and the Quest for a Cure 
-- MarketWired, February 07, 2017 $2.79 Million Awarded in 2016 to Fund 17 Research Projects in Five Countries. Among 9 funded projects in the US is the "Accelerated Research Program for Stem Cell Research" of Stéphanie Cherqui, Ph.D. CRF logo "Our work in the area of nanotechnology and corneal cystinosis will undoubtedly help other corneal diseases. The stem cell work conducted by Stéphanie Cherqui, Ph.D., (UCSD) will help treat other lysosomal and even neuro-muscular degenerative disorders. CRF research extends far beyond our community; it has the potential to treat millions of other people who suffer from other disorders." said CRF Founder Nancy Stack.

Natalie’s Wish 
-- UC SanDiego Health Newsroom, October 21, 2016 Cystinosis affects 2,000 children and young adults in the world, including 500 in the United States — and Natalie just happens to be one of them. In 2003, on the eve of her 12th birthday, Natalie wrote a wish in purple crayon on a restaurant napkin — to have my disease go away forever. Those heartbreaking words inspired Nancy and her husband, Jeff, to launch the Cystinosis Research Foundation. Since its inception, the Cystinosis Research Foundation has raised $35 million for scientific studies into the cause and treatments of the disease, supporting 143 studies in 12 countries.

Now, the Stacks, Clarkes and other cystinosis families are hoping for even better treatment options, and perhaps even a cure. To this end, the CRF has funded the work of Stephanie Cherqui, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine, since 2012. “Dr. Cherqui is the rock star of our community,” Nancy said. “She cares deeply about the patients and is always available to talk, to explain her work and to give us hope. She has said years ago that she would never give up until she found the cure — and now we are closer than ever before.”

CIRM approves $5.2 million for Cystinosis Research
 -- Rare Disease Report, September 22, 2016 The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) approved a $5.2 million fund to help create a better and more safe life-long treatment for the childhood rare disease cystinosis. University of California, San Diego researcher Stephanie Cherqui, Ph.D. and her team believe there is a better way to help treat this disease than the already FDA approved therapy Cysteamine (Cystagon) which has shown delays in progression of the disease, has severe side effects and the patients taking it still require kidney transplants, and develop diabetes, neuromuscular disorders and hypothyroidism. The CIRM funding approved today will enable Cherqui and her team to do the pre-clinical work needed to show the approach appears to be both safe and effective for possible clinical trials in the future.