Saturday, August 15, 2009

CIRM Presents 'Groaning Board' of Info for Next Week's Meeting

The California stem cell agency has done a fine job this past week in posting background material for its two-day meeting that begins on Wednesday in San Francisco.

We have been critical of the agency for its past dilatory practices in providing material in time for interested parties to read it and formulate thoughtful responses or suggestions in advance of the board meeting.

However, the agenda for the upcoming meeting is chock-a-block with information for all to chew on. Indeed, nearly all the major items have some sort of information linked to them.

Matters with fresh material include reviewer decisions on applications for $30 million in basic biology grants, a report on outside contracts, proposals for increases in the pay of scientific reviewers and $70 million in new grant programs, a status report on CIRM's massive lab construction round and interim IP rules for its new, $500 million biotech lending program. Other items have older material linked to the agenda items, but at least it's a start.

Still missing is fresh material on the ambitious lending effort and recommendations on which firms should run the program.

Kudos to CIRM staffers for pushing out the information. It serves the agency and the public well.

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