Posts Tagged: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

News

Stem cell agency seeks to weaken conflict-of-interest rules

Two of the members of the CIRM governing board, Chair Jon Thomas and Vice Chair Art Torres, during an earlier meeting.(Photo: CIRM)

Directors of the $12 billion California stem cell agency have moved to weaken conflict of interest provisions affecting its governing board — eliminating “leave-the-room” requirements that are used by most private nonprofits to assure the integrity of their operations.

News

Stem cell agency gives out $2 million a minute

Close up of laboratory microscope with DNA gel background image. (Photo: 18percentgrey, via Shutterstock)

Directors of the California stem cell agency last week handed out $2 million a minute to nearly 20 organizations during an online meeting that spread the largess from Sacramento in the north to San Diego in the south. 

News

Stem cell: California’s ARS and its multibillion-dollar clout

The Lorry I. Loke Stem Cell Research Building at Stanford University. (Photo: CIRM)

California’s taxpayer-financed stem cell agency will give away $98 million later this week, but the agency’s full, 35-member board is not going to have much to do with making decisions about who gets what. That’s because 17 members of the governing board are barred from voting on applications for any of its research awards, which will ultimately total roughly $5 billion over the next decade or so.

News

Stem cell ‘magical miracles’ possible — but at a hefty price

An illustration of DNA being injected into a stem cell. (Image: Spectral-Design, via Shutterstock)

The folks in Orange Cove in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley care about the cost of health care. It is part of their struggle each day as they try to live on $27,000 a year, the lowest median household income of any town in the Golden State. Over in Oakland at the headquarters of the $12 billion state stem cell agency, the folks there are also worried about the cost of health care, particularly cell and gene therapies that may well cost upwards of $2 million. 

News

State gives $51 million to college students for stem cell research

Berkeley City College, which received a portion of $51 million in state stem cell research grants. (Photo: berkeleyside.org)

The California stem cell agency has awarded $51 million to help train students in the art of research at the Golden State’s community colleges and universities. All 15 applicants for awards that ran as high as $3.6 million each were approved, including Berkeley City College, which was initially rejected by anonymous reviewers who met privately prior to the ratification of their decisions by the agency’s directors.

News

In world of stem cell research, ‘UC Caucus’ reigns supreme

Mesenchymal stem cells are injected into the knee of a patient. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons photo, via VT Digger)

They could be called the “UC Caucus,” although that may presume too much. Nonetheless, they come from an institution that has pulled down $1.2 billion from the California state stem cell agency, more than any other enterprise during the last 16 years. 

News

‘Bubble baby’ treatment shifted to stem cell agency, UCLA

Evangelina Padilla-Vaccaro’s medical team gathers around her on the day she received her gene-therapy stem-cell transplant. (Photo: Padilla-Vaccaro family, via UCLA Health)

A London-based biotech firm has given up its life-saving treatment for the bubble baby disease and turned it over to California’s $12 billion stem cell agency and UCLA, where it was developed with tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.

News

Frustration, anxiety mark families’ hopes for ‘bubble baby’ cure

Monica Nava and her 1-year-old daughter Clementine, who suffers from the "bubble baby" affliction. (Family photo).

The story about Jakob, Sheersha  and Clementine is a 6,000-mile biomedical tale that spans the Atlantic. The story ranges from the Saskatchewan River in Canada to the dusty Tehachapi mountains in drought-plagued Southern California. And it is a story of children with a terrible and rare genetic affliction known as the bubble baby disease.

News

Stem cell agency says it’s going all out on ‘bubble baby’ cure

A scientist at work in a biomedical laboratory. (Photo: Tom Robertson, via Shutterstock)

The California stem cell agency says it is doing “everything” it can to move forward on a gene therapy that has saved the lives of more than 50 persons but which has been pushed aside by the company that has exclusive rights to it. The issue has raised questions about the ethics of withholding care from babies and children suffering from a fatal disease.

News

Tangled tale: Research, profits and the ‘bubble baby’ syndrome

Evangelina, a former 'bubble baby,' plays inside a giant plastic bubble. (Photo: Stem Cellar Report, CIRM)

Little Evangelina Padilla-Vaccaro is more than a poster girl for the $12 billion California stem cell agency. She embodies a big bet by the agency that its efforts will conquer at least a few of the terrible diseases that are currently incurable. In the case of Evie, as the eight-year-old is known, she was born with what has come to be described as the bubble baby syndrome, a rare genetic mutation that crippled her immune system to the point that she would have died if left untreated.

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