Private Donations for Stem Cell Grants Exceed Expectations
In reviewing applications for construction grants for new stem cell research facilities this week, officials at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine revealed that almost $500 million in private donations had been pledged to 12 California organizations to help build the new laboratories, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/29).
Given those numbers, CIRM projected that lab construction projects could total $750 million, with about $262 million coming from state grants (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/29).
California voters approved Proposition 71 in 2004, creating CIRM to administer $3 billion in state funds for stem cell research (California Healthline, 2/26). The rules for the facilities construction grants require applicants to show that they could raise at least 20% of the requested grant amount in private donations.
Applicants have requested a total of $336.2 million from CIRM, more than $70 million more than the state can provide (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/29). According to the Chronicle, all applicants potentially could receive partial awards, requiring them to offset the smaller state award with other funds (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/29).
Under the rules of the grant award process, applicants still would be required to build the facility they proposed even if they do not receive the full award requested from CIRM (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/29). Applicants will have the option to decline the grant award.
The committee is expected to reach decisions on grant awards at meetings scheduled for May 6 and 7 (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/29).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.