CIRM Board Approves Plan To Fast-Track Stem Cell Treatments
On Thursday, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine board of directors approved a new strategic plan designed to fast-track grant proposals and shift funding to projects that bring stem cell treatments to fruition, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports (O'Neill/Glickman, "KPCC News," KPCC, 12/17).
Details of Plan
The plan will speed up the grant process from an average of 22 months to a target of just over three months.
The five-year plan likely will be the culmination of the lifespan of CIRM, which started when California voters approved Proposition 71 in 2004. That initiative set aside $3 billion to help stem cell researchers develop therapies for various conditions. Funding is due to end at CIRM in 2020.
The strategic plan was approved by the science subcommittee at CIRM on Nov. 30 (Gorn, California Healthline, 12/3).
The plan states that it aims to create "an industrial stem cell therapeutic powerhouse that expands the tax base, adds high-quality jobs and increases the likelihood of the commercialization of stem cell treatments for patients with unmet needs."
The board unanimously voted to approve the strategic plan during its meeting on Thursday.
CIRM board member Al Rowlett -- CEO of Sacramento-based Turning Point, a mental health program -- said, "It's ambitious, but then isn't that what the people of California were when they approved Proposition 71. They wanted to create something that was going to change the face of medicine. That's what we hope to do."
Gregory Bonfiglio -- managing partner of Proteus Regenerative Medicine, a Portola Valley venture capital firm -- lauded the new plan. "There are risks inherent in the development of new, disruptive technology," he said, adding, "The bigger risk is failing to deliver on (CIRM's) underlying promise to bring new regenerative therapies to patients. … The bigger risk is not doing anything" (Jensen, Sacramento Bee, 12/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.