Israeli and British scientists working in cooperation have been awarded £3 million (NIS 18 million) in grants under the BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Initiative, a program of the UK embassy and the British Council in Israel. The research grants are being given over a three-year period for cooperation in the field of stem cells, with an emphasis on treatment of diabetes, heart and liver diseases, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
The grants are part of a £10 million (NIS 60 million) program for scientific cooperation between the UK and Israel.
UK-Israel Life Sciences Council chairman Oxford University Prof. Raymond Dwek said, "Every so often, a scientific breakthrough leads to dramatic progress in treatment of diseases. The BIRAX initiative, supported by the best British scientists, focuses on stem cell treatment, and recognizes that the excellent work being done in this field in Israel supplements the British scientific base. This combination arouses hope of significant progress in the struggle against many diseases."
A long list of leading UK research institutes and organizations have come out in support of the program, including the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society, JDRF, the British Heart Foundation, and Parkinson's UK. The money will be granted to 11 academic institutions in the UK and Israel.
Among the projects already selected for grants are research in using heart cells to restore damaged heart muscles, identifying the genetics of diabetes to find new treatments, regenerating immune cells to treat diabetes, repairing nerve cell damage in multiple sclerosis, new tests for diagnosing Parkinson's Disease, and regenerating the liver using a patient's own stem cells.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 22, 2015
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