Posts Tagged: CIRM

News

Stem cell agency lists own board members with conflicts of interest

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.

News

California’s plan for ‘miraculous’ cures — at $49,000 per hour

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

News

California-backed cure for ‘bubble baby’ disease stalls — again

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.

News

Tiny budget piece could have huge impact on $12B stem cell agency

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.

News

“Killer cells” and conflicts at California’s stem cell agency

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.

News

California’s stem cell program — big money, but lackluster oversight

A Liquid Nitrogen bank containing suspended stem cells. (Photo: Elena Pavlovich)

California’s multibillion-dollar, cell and gene therapy program has a special spot in the pantheon of the hundreds of government departments in the Golden State. It is immune from the normal oversight of the governor and state lawmakers. Its cash — now set at $5.5 billion over the next decade — flows freely and directly to the stem cell agency with no inconvenient meddling by elected officials.

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. 

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