The Future of CIRM

This San Franscisco Business Times article looks at the future of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM): "The architect of Proposition 71 - the 2004 voter-approved measure that set up California's stem cell research funding agency with $3 billion in state-backed bond financing - says the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine by 2016 could seek another $3 billion to $5 billion. That may seem like a tough sell in a state smacked upside the head by a recession, but Klein is the ultimate salesman / evangelizer / patient advocate. He pulled together a powerful group of people cutting across political party lines and backgrounds to get Prop. 71 passed when most people had no scientific concept of stem cells. Strategically, what we're focused on is trying to make sure there is enough therapies advanced to Phase I or Phase II efficacy trials (where) voters of California can judge the performance and decide if they should approve another $3 billion to $5 billion. The voters are going to have to see real evidence. ... But wasn't CIRM limited to a 10-year life? No, Klein said - Prop. 71 backers simply estimated that funding would not be spent any faster than 10 years. Legal challenges delayed that another two years, he said, so funding likely won't be exhausted until late 2016 or early 2017. By then, Klein said, many clinical trials will be well under way."



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