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Thread: California's stem cell agency ponders its future

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    California's stem cell agency ponders its future

    California's stem cell agency ponders its future
    Associated Press

    Posted on March 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Updated today at 2:02 PM


    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The creation of California's stem cell agency in 2004 was greeted by scientists and patients as a turning point in a field mired in debates about the destruction of embryos and hampered by federal research restrictions.

    The taxpayer-funded institute wielded the extraordinary power to dole out $3 billion in bond proceeds to fund embryonic stem cell work with an eye toward treatments for a host of crippling diseases. Midway through its mission, with several high-tech labs constructed, but little to show on the medicine front beyond basic research, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine faces an uncertain future.

    Is it still relevant nearly eight years later? And will it still exist when the money dries up?

    The answers could depend once again on voters and whether they're willing to extend the life of the agency.

    Several camps that support stem cell research think taxpayers should not pay another cent given the state's budget woes.

    "It would be so wrong to ask Californians to pony up more money," said Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society, a pro-stem cell research group that opposed Proposition 71, the state ballot initiative that formed CIRM.

    Last December, CIRM's former chairman, Robert Klein, who used his fortune and political connections to create Prop 71, floated the possibility of another referendum.

    CIRM leaders have shelved the idea of going back to voters for now, but may consider it down the road. The institute recently submitted a transition plan to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature that assumes it will no longer be taxpayer-supported after the bond money runs out. CIRM is exploring creating a nonprofit version of itself and tapping other players to carry on its work.

    "The goal is to keep the momentum going," board Chairman Jonathan Thomas said in an interview.

    continue...

    http://www.khou.com/news/national/143105896.html

  2. #2
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    Intriguing read.
    If the ethical blather about SC treatment isn't dead by now it should be, not because ethics are counterproductive, but because in this case the arguments were based on fiction rather than fact.
    Geron's apparently greater return on it's cancer therapies I would think lies at least in part because they have been rolled out, on the production line so to speak. Concerns about safety are natural, but if/when CIRM's can translate into operation in the field, they could expect to see a return. Problem in the States could arise from the FDA, and in UK from NICE, not necessarily from active veto, but simply as a non approval is seen by insurers private or public as a great excuse for withholding funding.
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    In the NY Times version of this article it seems the money CIRM spent went to build shiny new buildings and labs and not so much on research.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctoom91 View Post
    In the NY Times version of this article it seems the money CIRM spent went to build shiny new buildings and labs and not so much on research.
    Yes and this also. A major problem today is credibility. Bags of eye candy, then the content afterwards - same with politicians!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctoom91 View Post
    In the NY Times version of this article it seems the money CIRM spent went to build shiny new buildings and labs and not so much on research.
    No shit! And wait til they blow all the dam Bullet train money and don't have shit to show for that.
    They could have just bought us all new Icon chairs with a rocket motor strapped on it.
    This state! I swear! Shit I don't think they even have a building to show for it.
    3 Billion, We got people not getting PT and screwed over on care and so on and they blow 3 Billion.
    You got to have your head examined to give this state 3 Billion for stem cell.
    Should have given it to Dr W
    Dam I got to get some pain Meds.

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