Sunday, July 11, 2010

Appeals on Stem Cell Grant Applications: CIRM's Upcoming Re-examination

If researchers want to be successful at winning some of California's stem cell billions, they should set aside time this month to consider or comment on likely changes in policies that will affect their livelihoods.

The California stem cell agency is re-examining the process by which scientists can appeal negative decisions by reviewers on their applications for grants and loan. This reaches beyond academia and affects business applicants.

Little is known at this point about exactly what the agency is proposing to do. The July 20 meeting of the directors' new Science Subcommittee was just announced this weekend, and no background information has been posted. CIRM has two processes involving appeals: extraordinary petitions and “normal” appeals, which are based only conflict of interest issues.

CIRM directors have long expressed exasperation with the appeals process. In fact, they created the extraordinary petition procedure to deal with the issue. A host of articles dealing with the appeals process can be found on the California Stem Cell Report by searching on the terms “extraordinary petitions” and “appeals.”

If researchers or the public cannot make it to the teleconference locations for the meeting, they can send their comments by email to the agency (mking@cirm.ca.gov).

Also on the agenda is consideration of commissioning an Institute of Medicine study of CIRM and a plan to add funds to the new clinical trials grant round, now slated for $50 million. The clinical trials RFA is scheduled to be posted this month and is likely to involve a firm whose financial backers pumped nearly $6 million into Prop. 71, which created the stem cell grant program.

Teleconference locations for the meeting can be found in San Francisco(2), Duarte, Irvine (2), Healdsburg, Stanford, Palo Alto and Pleasanton. Specific addresses are on the agenda. Sphere: Related Content

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