Stem Cell Agency Contractor Folds
The contractor that was to develop a computerized system for processing grants for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem cell agency, has gone out of business, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
However, CIRM now owns the computer codes that will allow it to develop the system the now defunct Arlington Group had contracted to build, said CIRM President Zach Hall. The situation "has been a hiccup for us in terms of schedule," Hall said, adding that it is "not a major issue."
The computerized system was important to CIRM, as it expects to receive hundreds of applications for the $350 million that the institute will distribute annually.
CIRM, which researched systems by five companies before awarding the contract, in June approved $233,474 for the first year of an eight-year contract with Arlington. CIRM paid Arlington $108,000 before it went out of business. Hall said there was no warning that Arlington was about to go out of business and that, apparently, an investor unexpectedly withdrew his money.
CIRM has contracted with a new company composed of former Arlington employees to build the system at a cost equal to what it would have paid Arlington, according to Hall (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/21).