Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More Info on CIRM's Finances and its Federal Patent Lobbying Position

The California stem cell agency today posted several major background information pieces for its board meeting, including details and justification for its proposed budget and an analysis dealing with its endorsement of industry-backed patent protection legislation.

The documents came as the agency is scheduled to begin a two-day meeting tomorrow in San Diego, which can heard via the Internet(instructions on the agenda).

We have not had a chance to read all the material carefully, but the budget documents go a long way in answering the questions we raised on Friday and presumably the earlier requests for more details from CIRM board members.

The budget material includes more year-to-year comparisons, a commentary explaining some of the assumptions in the budget, a justification for extensive travel and more. All of the items can be found through links on the agenda

In addition, Nancy Koch, one of CIRM's outside attorneys, wrote a three-page analysis of a Federal Trade Commission report last week that dealt with many of the issues involved in the federal patent legislation on biotech therapies.

Koch wrote:
“Lengthy market exclusivity periods (like those proposed by Rep. (Anna) Eshoo in HR 1548), according to the FTC, are not necessary and could actually dampen innovation.”
The Eshoo bill has been endorsed by the CIRM board, which is likely to vote again on the measure during its meetings during the next two days.

Koch performed a careful analysis of the FTC study, reaction to it and its impact on the CIRM position, including exploration of the FTC report's assumptions and weaknesses.

She wrote that the FTC “analysis sidesteps the financially daunting circumstances faced by smaller companies.”

Koch said,
“For CIRM, this last point is particularly significant. Even if the FTC's prediction were generally correct, stem cell research and the market for stem cell therapies would seem to fall outside the agency's analysis.”
Whether you agree or disagree with Koch's analysis or the budget justification and plans, all are important tools for CIRM directors tomorrow. The information also adds significantly to the understanding of the public and parties interested in CIRM's $3 billion operation. Sphere: Related Content

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