Stem Cell Committee To Vote on Royalty Policies
The Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee on Friday will vote on a proposal that would require not-for-profit research institutions to pay the state 25% of revenue exceeding $500,000 from discoveries made using Proposition 71 funds, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Voters approved Proposition 71 in November 2004 to fund stem cell research.
The policy would require research institutions to share their discoveries with other researchers and post easily understood summaries of their work on the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Web site.
The proposal applies only to not-for-profit institutions. A separate policy will address awarding grant money to for-profit businesses (Johnson, San Jose Mercury News, 2/9).
In related news, the Sacramento Bee on Friday examined the debate over determining "the lowest available commercial U.S. price" for treatments developed using funds from Proposition 71. According to the Bee, ICOC members must set the policy to address the objectives of both industry and taxpayer groups (Wasserman, Sacramento Bee, 2/10).
Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) said she plans to amend a bill (SCA 13) to give the state attorney general clearer authority to monitor CIRM. Ortiz' amendment also will include language to ensure a portion of money generated by Proposition 71-funded discoveries is returned to the state (San Jose Mercury News, 2/9).
Controller Steve Westly (D) on Thursday announced the first comprehensive audit of CIRM and called "for tough oversight of stem cell grants." He said CIRM should publicly disclose an annual evaluation of its performance, publicly evaluate the performance of projects financed by Proposition 71 and develop regulations to ensure grants are awarded fairly.
The first oversight committee meeting will be held in the spring to discuss the current audit, Westly said (Lagos, San Francisco Examiner, 2/10).
Californians "can feel confident" that stem cell research funded by Proposition 71 will "be carried out under the highest standards of ethical and scientific integrity," as the ICOC "will act on recommendations giving California the strongest embryonic stem cell regulations in the country," according to an opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The opinion piece -- written by Sherry Lansing, co-chair of the Scientific and Medical Accountability Standards Working Group of CIRM and ICOC patient advocate for cancer; Bernard Lo, director of the University of California-San Francisco medical ethics program; and CIRM President Zach Hall -- continues that other regulations discussed Friday "will set standards for research integrity and penalties for violations such as fabrication and fraud" (Lansing et al., San Francisco Chronicle, 2/10).