Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Peek at News Coverage of CIRM's $230 Million Disease Team Round

California's stem cell research effort today climbed over the $1 billion mark with its whopping disease team round. The awards began generating news coverage internationally this afternoon, and more stories will surface later today and tomorrow.

Erika Check Hayden
filed a report on Nature magazine's breaking news blog. She said CIRM regards the round as the “crown jewel of its portfolio.” She said that some of the grants will go “for therapies that, in some cases, are unlike any ever before approved by the FDA.”

Hayden wrote,
“Only a handful will employ human embryonic stem cells, despite the fact that most of the fanfare surrounding the passage of Proposition 71, the ballot measure that created CIRM, concerned the fact that CIRM would fill the gap left by a lack of federal funding for work on these cells. But Bob Klein, architect of Proposition 71 and chair of CIRM's governing board, said, 'Our commitment to the voters was that we would pursue the very best cell type for each disease based on the scientific and clinical evidence.'"
Rob Waters of Bloomberg emphasized the business aspects and had a separate piece on Sangamo Biosciences of Richmond, Ca., a publicly traded company that shared in a $14.6 million award with City of Hope in Duarte, Ca.

Oddly, the largest newspaper in California, the Los Angeles Times, had not carried a word as of this writing on the roughly $80 million in grants to institutions in the Los Angeles area.

The New York Times may well have story late today or tomorrow. Its Los Angeles-based reporter, Andy Pollack, could be seen on the Webcast of the news conference, asking a question about the slim use of human embryonic stem cells in the disease team grants.

Here are links to other stories:
Thomas Kupper of San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego News Network

Steven Brown of the San Francisco Business Times
DelMar Times Sphere: Related Content

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