Posts Tagged: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

News

Stem cell money flows, as search expands for ‘miraculous’ cures

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.

News

Clinical trial into ‘bubble baby disease’ back on track

Baby Evangelina Padilla-Vaccaro on the day she received a gene therapy stem cell transplant.(Photo: UCLAhealth.org)

Twenty children seeking treatment for a rare affliction called the “bubble baby disease” today have some big-time, good news concerning a life-saving genetic therapy that they were once denied as the result of a tangled affair that included private profit and the public funding of cutting-edge scientific research.  

News

State stem cell agency’s first royalties: $15 million from Stanford

Stanford University, where major stem cell research is being conducted.(Photo: yhelfman, via Shutterstock)

The California stem cell agency says it has received $15.6 million in royalties from Stanford University, the largest such payment by far in the 17-year history of the state research agency. Until the announcement, the agency, officially known as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), had received only $557,292 in royalties.

News

Stem cell: UC’s odd ‘unmention’ in its top 10 research tales

Sather Gate at the University of California at Berkeley. (Photo: David A. Litman, via Shutterstock)

The University of California has identified its 10 best research stories of 2021, and right at the top is an article deeply involving the state’s $12 billion stem cell agency. The catch is that the stem cell agency was not even mentioned. That despite the fact that 13 persons with significant links to the University of California, including a UC regent, sit on the board that oversees the agency. 

News

Stem cell agency: Following the money — and its performance

A research scientist examines a capsule with a DNA double helix. (Photo: Dan Race, via Shutterstock)

One year ago this month, a $5.5 billion wave washed over California’s ambitious stem cell agency and left it refreshed and renewed for another decade or so of searching for “miraculous” treatments for a host of deadly, incurable afflictions. It is now on a pace to hand out $38,000 an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  That would amount to $519 million in awards between this time last year and the end of the agency’s current fiscal year in June.

News

Outside auditor takes critical look at stem cell agency

A researcher examines meat cultured in laboratory conditions from stem cells. (Photo: Alex_Traksel, via Shutterstock)

California’s $12 billion stem cell agency needs to do better in several critical areas, ranging from planning for the replacement of its current chair to handling information that is key to its operations as well as the tracking of potential sources of royalties. That’s according to that latest performance audit of the 17-year-old agency.

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. 

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