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CIRM: GSK drops plans to co-develop ViaCyte program

December 7, 2012 2:20 AM UTC

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine disclosed in a memo for an upcoming meeting of the institute's governing board that GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK) was "not able to obtain the final approval" to help develop a diabetes program from ViaCyte Inc. (San Diego, Calif.). At an October meeting of the governing board, a GSK representative said the pharma was "interested in an alliance to enable GSK, ViaCyte and CIRM to progress" the VC-01 program, which is ViaCyte's Pro-Islet. According to the memo, the pharma said it was not able to obtain approval due to business reasons in the context of its "overall R&D portfolio and investment needs." CIRM said the decision was not a result of any scientific or technical assessment of ViaCyte's program. In October, CIRM awarded $10.1 million to ViaCyte to support development of Pro-Islet, which comprises insulin-producing pancreatic endocrine cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), encapsulated in a macroencapsulation device. ...