Friday, January 30, 2009

California Stem Cell Money Woes in San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Francisco Area

How bad is the CIRM financial crisis? It is endangering the highly touted San Diego stem cell research consortium, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Reporter Terri Somers said that financial woes have prevented the consortium "from securing the loans it needs to build a much ballyhooed $115 million stem cell research center (see rendering) in Torrey Pines." The consortium includes UC San Diego, Scripps, Burnham and Salk.

Somers wrote:
"San Diego is not alone in its troubles. The Buck Institute for Aging in the San Francisco Bay Area and the University of California Santa Barbara are among other California research institutes having difficulty obtaining money for research facilities.

"All three were planning to create stem cell research centers with a combination of private funds, loans and multimillion-dollar grants from the taxpayer-funded California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

"But banks considering the loans now say they do not have the liquidity needed to finance the construction. And some lenders question whether California's budget crisis, which is preventing the state from issuing bonds, could stall its promised financing."
Somers continued:
"In an interview yesterday, Malin Burnham, a member of the San Diego consortium's board, recalled a recent conversation he had with a local banker about a $70 million construction loan for the research facility.

"He said, 'Malin, I'd love to do that deal. I know and like all four of your institutions, but I don't have any money to lend. The situation may change in 30 to 45 days, but today I just don't have any liquidity,' Burnham said."
Somers' story includes information from last night's CIRM board meeting. Sphere: Related Content

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