Stem Cell Agency Releases 10-Year Spending Plan
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine on Wednesday unveiled a 10-year spending plan for the $3 billion generated by Proposition 71, which was approved by voters in 2004 to fund stem cell research, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/5). However, the agency said, "it is unlikely that CIRM will be able to fully develop stem cell therapy for routine clinical use during the 10 years of the plan" (Wade, New York Times, 10/5).
According to CIRM President Zach Hall, the proposal -- which must be approved by the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee -- would create a "strongly tapered pipeline" of new treatments.
The goal is to have at least one stem cell therapy in a mid-stage clinical trial that shows the therapy is effective in treating a single disease, according to the Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/5). At that point, the agency would attempt to recruit businesses to pay the costs of late-stage trials and put the treatments on the market, Hall said (Johnson, San Jose Mercury News, 10/4).
The ICOC will meet Tuesday and Wednesday to consider the plan (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/5).
The plan also would provide funding for "jump-starting" stem cell research and create a statewide embryo bank, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. In the first few years, funding would be directed to studying tissue engineering, the auto-immune system, and the development of human eggs and embryos.
Hall said the plan also "includes funding for many parallel programs," adding, "I think it gives us a very rich pipeline so that the work can go on well after 10 years" (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/5).
The agency proposed spending for 25 major initiatives over 10 years, including:
- $822.8 million for basic biology research;
- $898.9 million for preclinical research and development;
- $656 million for clinical trials (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/5);
- $273 million for universities to construct laboratories that contain no equipment purchased with NIH funding to comply with federal regulations (New York Times, 10/5);
- $295 million for scientific training and development;
- $182 million for special programs;
- $214 million for tools, technologies and infrastructure (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/5);
- $25.5 million for empirical research and conferences that address the ethics of stem cell research;
- $10 million for public outreach programs; and
- $2.3 million for outside experts to assess the economic impact on stem cell research in California (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/4).