To fund or not to fund? — The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is the question

Eric Oliver -   Print  |

California voters are wrestling with the question of whether to support a ballot initiative that will grant the Oakland-based California Institute for Regenerative Medicine another $5.5 billion to continue its research-funding efforts, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

What you should know:

1. The Institute was founded in 2004 and awarded a $3 billion bond to fund stem cell-related projects over a decade. The Institute survived longer than anticipated, but is expected to run out of funds this year.

2. The Institute is attempting to gain support for a ballot initiative to grant an additional $5.5 billion. If unsuccessful, the Institute will oversee the rest of its grants through 2022 and then close.

3. The ballot initiative has raised some serious questions. The Business Journal spoke with Cate Dyer, the CEO of stem cell-based research firm StemExpress, who had some reservations. Ms. Dyer said she'd like to see the state make changes to ensure the funds directly benefit healthcare in California, and see the Institute return any royalties or fees to the state.

4. However, proponents of stem cell research, like UC Davis Health CEO David Lubarsky, MD, argued that stem cell research is at a pivotal period, and that funding is needed to advance clinical trials around potential cures.

Read the entire piece here.

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