Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More Details on CIRM's Strategic Plan

Reporter Terri Somers of the San Diego Union Tribune moved quickly and was probably first on the Web with substantial details of the strategic plan drafted by CIRM staffers. It has been reviewed along the way by the Oversight Committee but final approval is not slated until December.

Here are excerpts from her story. The executive summary can be found on the newspaper's web site (see item below) and not on the CIRM web site at the time of this writing.

"The institute has already announced that it will be seeking applications for grants intended to “jump-start” human embryonic stem cell research in California. Under the plan, $135.3 million would be spent on the jump start initiative.
"An additional $148.5 million would be earmarked for annual innovation grants, and $75.3 million would fund work in the basic biology of stem cells.
"The plan also directs money toward science that is directed at a specific mission, such as the investigation of better methods of generating specific types of stem cell lines, such as those that can be used as models of diseases, or using stem cell to create copies of tissues and organs that can be used in the lab to test new therapies for various diseases.
"More than $60 million would be directed to scientists who are researching ways to create stem cells that would not create a toxic response from a patient's immune system if used in a therapy.
"About $451 million would be given to researchers in academia and biotech companies for early-stage clinical testing of promising therapies. and $108 million would be directed to academia and industry for core services such as accredited manufacturing facilities.
"The plan also calls for innovative funding techniques.
"For instance, about $122 million will be directed toward disease teams.
"These teams would include scientists who will work together over a number of years to develop a therapy. The work would have to follow a careful, detailed and plausible strategy with defined milestones for bringing the therapy to clinic.
"The plans calls for $60 million to be spent on interdisciplinary research teams working on a specific scientific goal.
"Recognizing that stem cell research will influence society in ways other than new therapies, the committee will sponsor empirical research and conference that take a more theoretical approach to dealing with moral issues. For that purpose, $25.5 million has been budgeted.
"The institute will also spend $2.3 million for outside experts to assess the economic impact of stem cell research in California, and $10 million for public outreach programs that include a web portal and educational workshops."
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