iPierian, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on changing the paradigm of drug discovery and development through the application of cellular reprogramming, today announced that it has been selected to participate in a $3.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grand Opportunities (GO) grant awarded to The Johns Hopkins University. The grant, given over a two-year span, will be used to generate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) iPS cells and to evaluate the ability of these cells to reflect human cell biology and the characteristics of native motor neurons and astrocytes, the cell types involved in ALS. The grant was awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the NIH.
"iPS cell technology holds tremendous promise because it allows scientists to study conditions such as ALS in disease-specific human models for the first time," said John P. Walker, chief executive officer of iPierian. "This research project is an exciting opportunity for Johns Hopkins and iPierian. It will provide valuable information on the cell type specificity and functional biology of ALS iPS cells, which will ultimately help us develop more effective targeted therapies for patients."