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Thread: Thinking About Its Demise: CIRM Launches Examination of Alternatives

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Thinking About Its Demise: CIRM Launches Examination of Alternatives

    California Stem Cell Report
    SUNDAY, AUGUST 13, 2017
    Thinking About Its Demise: California Stem Cell Agency Launches Examination of Alternatives

    http://californiastemcellreport.blog...Cell+Report%29

    California's $3 billion stem cell research agency, which is facing its financial demise in a few short years, has formed a team of its directors to tackle transition planning and examine possible alternatives, including ones that would extend its life.

    The first meeting of the group of directors is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 18. Jonathan Thomas, chairman of the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine(CIRM), as the agency is formally known, said earlier this summer:
    "The legislature has asked that we put together and start thinking about a transition plan, which can contemplate a variety of factors."
    In response to a question last week, a spokesman for the agency, Kevin McCormack, said that a notice with more details would be posted 10 days prior to the meeting.

    At a meeting in June, Thomas laid out the need for the transition team. He said all options are on the table including asking the legislature for cash or to place a measure on the ballot for more bond funding.

    The agency's only real source of money is state bonds, authorized by voters in 2004. It has roughly $600 million left. The agency has projected it will run out of cash for new awards in mid 2020, although that could vary, depending on whether it slows down the pace of awards.

    Several directors at the board meeting in June expressed a "sense of urgency" about dealing with the fate of the agency. CIRM Director Jeff Sheehy, a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors and an HIV/AIDS patient advocate, voiced concern about the uncertain nature of the agency's future.

    Sheehy said,
    "It seems to me that we will be talking about a substantial scaling back of the organization in 2020....We've kind of created this expectation that we were going to go to 2018 and come back with new money."
    Sheehy referred to talk that a new bond initiative might be launched in 2018, a move that the board's former chairman, Robert Klein, has publicly advanced. Sheehy said, however, that he spoke with Klein, who told him that he was now considering 2020 instead. Klein's method would require the gathering of hundreds of thousands of valid voter signatures to place the proposal on the ballot and would bypass the legislature.

    The year 2020 includes a presidential election, which has higher voter turnout and generally is considered a better time to win approval of bond measures. Presumably, the agency might be able to secure extra funding to span any financial gap or, alternatively, lower the frequency of awards to stretch out the cash.

    The members of the transition group are Thomas, Sheehy, Art Torres, Steve Juelsgaard, Joe Panetta, Kristiina Vuori, Linda Malkas, Diane Winokur, Shlomo Melmed, Al Rowlett and Judy Gasson. Short bios on each of them can be found via this page. https://www.cirm.ca.gov/board-and-me...t-icoc-members

    The California Stem Cell Report will carry an item with the date and location of the September meeting when it becomes available.

    POSTED BY DAVID JENSEN
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

  2. Default

    I haven't seen much from CIRM stating what they've accomplished with that first $3 billion.
    If that $3 billion had been spent on an average same-day stem cell treatment (using one's own stem cells) for something like orthopedics or lung disease at a cost of around $5,000,
    that would be 600,000 patients with improved health.

    From the STAT article below, which compares how many stem cell trials NIH and CIRM completed:

    NIH spent $13.4 billion, including funds for 571 stem cell clinical trials**: 165 completed studies
    For 571 trials that's $23,457,601 per trial.

    CIRM spent $2.2 billion, including funds for 27 stem cell clinical trials*: 2 completed studies
    For 27 trials that's $81,481,481 per trial.

    California voters were promised cures. But the state stem cell agency has funded just a trickle of clinical trials
    https://www.statnews.com/2017/01/19/...l-agency-cirm/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default

    Exactly Sammy Jo. And you don't hear the usual whiners (aka world class bloggers and bioethicists) saying much at all about it. I guess there are a lot of shiny new buildings however. What a real shame that this opportunity was wasted. They should have started with adult stem cells. Voters should not approve further funding for this agency.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

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