Thursday, October 15, 2009

CIRM Tackles $500 Million Biotech Loan Issues

A key panel of directors of the California stem cell agency next week will wrestle with a few fundamental issues concerning its ambitious, $500 million biotech loan program.

Matters such as the process for financial review of loan applications, unspecified changes in the loan administration policy and criteria for eligibility for recourse loans are on the table for a teleconference meeting of the directors' Finance Subcommittee.

Biotech firms interested in participating in the loan program would be well-advised to sit in on the Oct. 23 session at one of eight teleconference locations.

CIRM's lending effort, which will use borrowed funds (bonds) to make the loans, is slated to get underway with this year's $210 million disease team effort, the largest ever research round by CIRM.

CIRM plans to loan money to risky enterprises that otherwise could not secure financing. Loan failure rates of up to 50 percent in the program have been predicted by CIRM. However, CIRM projections estimate that the effort will generate $100 million in profits that can be recycled into additional grants or loans.

So far, no background information has been posted by the agency concerning the issues to be discussed Oct. 23. at next week's meeting.

Interested parties can participate in the session at seven locations in California and one in Waco, Texas, where a CIRM director is expected to located. The locations in California include San Francisco, Irvine, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Specific addresses can be found on the agenda. Sphere: Related Content

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