California Institute for Regenerative Medicine needs more money

About 20 percent of the original $3 billion remains and talk is that the CIRM may ask for $5 billion more from the General Fund

StemCells Inc’s Alexandra Capela displays a case of neural stem cells (photo from SF Gate)

With questionable accountability and therapy records, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) will likely soon be coming back to California coffers for another bankroll. One California lawmaker thinks the taxpayers should have a say in that.

John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) proposed that refunding CIRM, which sponsors research on embryonic and other stem cell research, be put before the voters next year. The Senate Health Committee, however, disagreed and rejected his proposal this week. (You can watch the hearing on The California Channel.)

CIRM was approved via a ballot proposition in 2004 and financed with $3 billion of state bonds. It was sold as the way to bring stem cell therapies to the healing arts faster and, at first, was devoted exclusively to embryonic stem cells. That has been expanded, however, to other types of stem cells when those were shown to be more likely to lead to successful therapies.

About 20 percent of the original $3 billion remains and talk is that the CIRM may ask for $5 billion more from the General Fund. There are also reports that the Institute may move to private funding.

Watch for more CIRM funding debates over the next few months since the remaining funds are expected to be exhausted in 2018.

Full story at California Catholic Conference.

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  1. Even in a summary of the original, I personally would find it helpful to have some information on who is doing the questioning, the basis thereof, etc.

  2. The $3 billion approved by CA voters for Prop 71 in Nov 2004 actually amounts to $6 billion when including interest payments. And the money was to be spent on cutting-edge embryonic stem research leading to cures for Parkinson, Alzheimer, et al and drastically reduce medical spending. Most of the $2.2 billion spent so far went to build fancy lab facilities at universities such as Stanford and USC. Also funded were 27 studies, only two of which are completed. CIRM claims one cure, that of 4 yr. old Evangelina Vaccaro ((and subsequent 28 more children similarly cured) born without an immune system was cured by altering her own mature stem cells, i.e., without the involvement of embryonic stem cells, and based on the prior 20+ yrs…

  3. (continuation from Tulvio Durand reply above):
    … research of UCLA’s Dr. Donald Kohn funded by NIH. That inspiring triumph was partly funded by CIRM, but Kohn’s work took three decades, was well underway long before CIRM existed, and didn’t involve embryonic stem cells — the key gap CIRM was founded to fill. Evangelina was saved by hematopoietic stem cells, the type that NIH has been more focused on. That CIRM now claims sole credit for Angelina’s cure is hypocritical (see CIRM Annual Report https://www.cirm.ca.gov/about-cirm/2016-annual-report) and seeks another $5 billion from CA taxpayers ($10 billion including interest) is ludicrous.
    Source for CIRM expenditures: https://www.statnews

  4. (#2 continuation of Tulvio Durand reply above)

    (Source for CIRM expenditures: https://www.statnews.com/2017/01/19/california-stem-cell-agency-cirm/

  5. Embryonic stem cells have not cured a single disease. Bone Marrow transplantation was saving lives long before CIRM was conceived by the Stanford scientist that benefitted the most from this boondoggle. The building he built with CIRM money is amazing. And California also proposes to pay for Global Warming. I cannot afford this. Taxed enough already.

  6. It’s Solyndra, but on steroids (or crack).

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