Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Here Comes $3 Billion

The California stem cell agency appears ready to take the first steps towards issuing $3 billion in bonds to finance its efforts to find cures and treatment for everything from cancer to Lou Gehrig's disease.

The oversight committee of the agency meets one week from today in Los Angeles, only the fifth meeting since it came into existence. On the agenda is a resolution that would set the bond process in motion.

Also on the agenda is Christian right litigation that has raised uncertainty about the bonds and seeks to terminate the agency itself, despite that the fact that it was created by voters approving an amendment to the California state constitution.

Chairman Robert Klein has promised to come up with a strategy to squelch the bond uncertainty at the April meeting. Just what that is will have to wait until after a closed- door litigation session at the meeting.

Also on the agenda is an item that could speed some of the processes at CIRM. It calls for charging the institute staff with developing a proposal for the agency's research grants program. The staff proposal would then be considered by the full oversight committee at the May 6 meeting of the oversight committee.

The schedule for next Wednesday additionally calls for “consideration” of a host of issues including: conflict policies for oversight committee members and agency staff, policies for working groups including confidentiality and conflicts issues and a training grant program for future stem cell researchers.

No comments:

Post a Comment