California today sold a whopping $102.8 million of its stem cell bonds to individual investors, more than triple the amount expected by the state.
The size of the sale, 41.1 percent of the $250 million total, testified to the powerful lure of stem cell research for a large segment of the public. The number probably could have been higher if publicity had been generated earlier among the patient advocate and other sympathetic groups.
The taxable bonds were sold at a 5.168 percent rate, which is 1.15 percentage points higher than today's rate on three-year U.S. Treasury notes. Institutional investors purchased what individuals did not.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer (see photo) said in a news release,
"The investment by individuals far exceeded our expectations and shows how strongly Californians believe in the promise of stem cell research to cure diseases and relieve suffering,"California stem cell Chairman Robert Klein said,
"Certainly many of the investors are patients suffering from debilitating disease or injury. They’re making an investment in their future – not simply their financial future, but their future quality of life."Lockyer also noted that it was the first time California bonds have been used to directly finance the development of intellectual capital.
He said $48 million of the proceeds will go to pay back the bond anticipation notes that philanthropists purchased to provide funds for CIRM while it was hobbled by litigation. More than $200 million will go for research grants. That means that state is still waiting for repayment of a $150 million loan to CIRM. It also means that a new round of bond financing is likely soon. The agency currently has $850 million in untapped bonding capacity out of the $3 billion authorized in 2004. It can only issue $350 million a year, but unused bonding capacity is carried over year to year.
Lockyer's news release was not posted on the Internet at the time of his writing, but you should be able to find it here later in the day. Sphere: Related Content