Posts Tagged: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Gov. Gavin Newsom at the State of the State Address in January. (Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald)
Gov. Gavin Newsom has rebuked California’s stem cell agency about its conduct of the election of a new chairperson for the $12 billion enterprise, a process that has been disrupted with the withdrawal of one candidate and the addition of a new one.
Andrea Fernandez and her son Jakob, who suffers from 'bubble boy' disease. (Photo: Courtesy of Fernandez family)
Nearly three years after a British firm abandoned a successful therapy for the life-threatening “bubble baby” disease, children will again be treated in a clinical trial backed with millions of dollars from the state of California. “It’s the best Christmas gift ever,” said the mother of an afflicted child, Andrea Fernandez.
A photo illustration of bacteria as seen through a research microscope. (Photo: Per Bengtsson, via Shutterstock)
California has another election coming up this fall, but it is not your usual political campaign free-for-all. Instead, it involves the leadership of the $12 billion state stem cell agency, which is trying mightily to develop “miraculous” treatments and cures for diseases that afflict — according to its backers — half of the families in California.
A laboratory scientist uses a pipette to manipulate stem cells. (Photo: Vshivkova, via Sutterstock)
It was a $137 million day for the Golden State’s stem cell agency — no small event even for an enterprise that is backed by billions. The scientific scope covered by the $137 million was impressive. It ranged from bolstering the vaunted Alpha Clinic Network initiated around the state by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the agency is legally known, to raising the number of CIRM’s clinical trials to 83.
A stem cell researcher at UC Davis. (Photo: UC Davis Stem Cell Program.)
In a first in its 18-year history, the California stem cell agency has begun posting on its website a list of its governing board members who have conflicts of interest as they award hundreds of millions of dollars. The most recent example comes next Tuesday in a $48 million round that will benefit at least 16 public and private colleges in the Golden State and up to 400 students at a cost of $58,220 each.
A liquid nitrogen bank containing a suspension of stem cells for biomedical research. (Photo: Elena Pavlovich, via Shutterstock)
California is planning on spending $49,000 an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the next year to help scientists develop what some describe as “miraculous” cures and treatments for currently deadly afflictions. The spending plan was approved with no fuss last month while state lawmakers and the governor wrestled more noisily with a $308 billion state budget
A pipette drops stem cell research fluid on a special container. (Photo: CI Photos, via Shutterstock)
The “bubble babies” saga and a California-financed cure for their life-threatening affliction has hit another snag, more than two years after a British company abandoned the effort. It is a story that involves more than $40 million from California’s stem cell agency, federal regulators, the University of California, the agonizingly slow pace of science and 20 children who have been denied care — not to mention a company called Orchard Therapeutics PLC.
An illustration of the molecular structure of human cells and a researcher with vaccine. (Image: Billion Photos, Shutterstock)
A crack opened last week for the first time in 17 years in the firewall between state politicians and the $12 billion California stem cell agency. It involves only $600,000 — at least for now — and is buried deep in the 1,069-page state budget bill that was introduced June 8. But its implications are far-reaching. They range from opening the agency to major changes — wanted and unwanted — to creating a basis for the agency’s currently dubious, long-term financial sustainability.
A laboratory pipette with fluid and test tubes for cancer research. (Photo: CI Photos, via Shutterstock)
Call it “The Case of the Killer Cells.” It is an $8 million matter involving an effort by California’s ambitious stem cell agency to develop cures for particularly tenacious and fatal cancers. The cash is snarled in an “embarrassing” conflict of interest, however, not to mention an irregular vote on the application for research funding from the stem cell agency.
Photo illustration of a doctor analyzing stem cells. (Image: CI Photos, via Shutterstock)
California’s stem cell agency, created as a way to develop revolutionary cures based on human embryonic stem cells, has awarded $316 million over the last 12 months, most of it backing a type of therapy that was not even on the agency’s radar when it was created in 2004.