Stack Foundation Gives UC San Diego $5M Gift to Advance Gene Therapy

The Stack Foundation has gifted $5 million to the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) to facilitate gene therapy research for the development of new treatments for genetic disorders in adults and children. UC San Diego said in a recent statement it would launch a Gene Therapy Initiative to meet the need for safer and more effective therapies.

Genetic diseases affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States and can be incredibly hard to treat, especially in the case of rare genetic disorders that have fewer patients to study for the development of effective therapies. Thanks to a $5 million grant donated by the Nancy and Geoffrey Stack Foundation, the Gene Therapy Initiative will give scientists the chance to expand research into gene therapies for the benefit of adults and children with genetic diseases.

Gene therapy is a type of treatment that involves treating diseases by addressing the underlying genetic issues that cause them through modifying the expression of defective genes or introducing new genes. However, since genetic conditions such as Angelman Syndrome are quite rare, scientists have had little chance to study them and develop potential treatments. This means the people who do suffer from these conditions have limited access to effective treatments, which reduces their overall potential for positive health outcomes.

Of the estimated 25 to 30 million American residents living with rare conditions, around 95% do not have federally approved treatment. The new Gene Therapy Initiative will go a long way toward filling this knowledge gap and providing much-needed scientific data to facilitate the development of gene-based therapies.

Stephanie Cherqui, PhD, chair of the UC San Diego’s Cystinosis Stem Cell along with Gene Therapy Consortium Stephanie Cherqui, PhD, and UC San Diego School of Medicine professor Alysson Muotri, PhD, will lead the initiative.

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said the initiative would “drive ground-breaking research” and aid in the discovery of data that will undoubtedly help adults and children who suffer from genetic disorders but have little access to treatments. Khosla noted that UC San Diego is renowned across the world for its research efforts and has created a hub for genetic research that allows collaboration from faculty members from various disciplines.

The Nancy Stack Family Foundation is a California-based private foundation created in 2003 to fund research and development of treatments for rare diseases and disorders.

Nancy Stack, president and founder of the Cystinosis Research Foundation, said she hopes the donation to UC San Diego will open the door to the development of more effective treatments for people living with rare diseases and disorders.

While the Stack Foundation has focused on financing research into rare genetic illnesses, enterprises such as Renovaro BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ: RENB) are looking to develop cell and gene therapies targeting deadly cancers that kill patients within a short time after the cancer is diagnosed or sets in.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Renovaro BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ: RENB) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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