Stem Cell Agency Approves Rules; President Resigns
The governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine on Thursday adopted temporary rules that would require for-profit grant recipients to pay to the state general fund a percentage of profit from treatments developed using CIRM grant funds, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/8).
CIRM was created in 2004 when California voters approved Proposition 71. The measure provides $3 billion over 10 years for stem cell research. The independent Citizen's Oversight Committee administers CIRM (California Healthline, 11/16).
The temporary guidelines will be replaced in about nine months by permanent regulations after a public approval process.
According to the rules, for-profit drug developers would pay royalties to the state general fund when:
- Revenue on a commercial product generates $500,000;
- Revenue on stem cell therapy accounts for $250 million annually; and
- Revenue generates $500 million.
Royalties in most cases are limited at triple the amount of the grant, according to the Chronicle.
Under the rules, the state also will receive 1% of patent royalties on revenue beyond $500 million, providing that the institute invested more than $5 million in the product (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/8).
CIRM President Zach Hall on Thursday announced that he will resign within six months, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/8). Hall said that he will begin "a more contemplative phase" of his life with his wife at their home in Wyoming (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/8).
The 68-year-old neuroscientist in 2005 was named interim CIRM president, four months after voters approved Proposition 71 (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 12/8).
The institute is expected to conduct a nationwide search for its next director (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/8).
KQED's "The California Report" on Thursday included an interview with Patricia Olson, scientific program officer at CIRM, about the goals of the agency (Drayer, "The California Report," KQED, 12/7).
Audio of the segment is available online.