The center also makes good business sense. CIRM will invest up to $15 million in funding to help the start-up of the center. In turn, CIRM is projecting a return on that investment within five years through discounts on services to CIRM projects.

The Translating Center will coordinate with the Stem Cell Accelerator – approved by the CIRM Board in June – to help researchers create a comprehensive development plan for their project and coordinate on documentation required for filing regulatory applications. The Accelerator Center award also went to QuintilesIMS.

“We call the combination of the two centers our ‘Pitching Machine’,” says Dr. Mills, “because they complement each other and work together to overcome the challenges slowing the progress of our most promising stem cell research and accelerate these potential therapies into clinical trials.”

The “Pitching Machine” is also helpful to the FDA. The expertise of QuintilesIMS in this area will enable them to create a standardized, uniform approach that best meets the needs of the FDA, making it easier for the agency to evaluate projects in a timely manner.

“With the opening of the Translating and Accelerator Centers, we are doing a lot more than just funding research,” says Dr. Mills, “We have created an entire infrastructure, unique to California, that will help us increase the volume, speed and quality of projects moving into clinical trials.”