Industry has long been unhappy with its meager share of CIRM grants – 7 percent of $1.25 billion. A blue-ribbon panel commissioned by CIRM last year recommended major improvements.
Thomas' plan for engagement of industry will be discussed this evening at Stanford at the first meeting of the board's new eight-member Intellectual Property Subcommittee.
Thomas' proposal, posted only early today on the CIRM web site, would expand the panel's current jurisdiction. The document said,
Juelsgaard, former executive vice president of Genentech and currently a lecturer at Stanford Law School, was appointed to the board last May by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Juelsgaard once was reported as being considered as a possible candidate for chair of the agency.
"In light of CIRM’s desire to engage industry in its mission to deliver therapies and cures to patients who suffer from chronic disease and injury and the overlap between industry-related issues and the current jurisdiction of the subcommittee, Chairman Thomas, with the concurrence of Subcommittee Chair (Stephen) Juelsgaard, proposes to expand the jurisdiction of the subcommittee to include industry-related issues, such as: (1) participation by representatives of industry as members of the Grants Working Group; (2) the development and refinement of programs to incorporate industry into CIRM’s research programs; (3) financing issues relating to industry involvement with CIRM; (4) evaluation of barriers to industry engagement in CIRM-related or funded activities; (5) addressing means of encouraging industry interaction and involvement, especially in the areas of development, regulatory compliance, manufacturing and commercialization, with CIRM-funded research organizations that have identified potential promising therapies and (6) consideration and refinement of CIRM’s loan program."
Thomas said Roth would be named co-chair of the IP Subcommittee with responsibility for industry relations. Juelsgaard will deal more generally with IP issues, including "developing a program to assist CIRM grantees in protecting intellectual property generated from CIRM-funded research and to ensure that the state has an opportunity to share in the revenues arising out of CIRM-funded research." That topic is on the agenda of this evening's meeting.
Also to be discussed is another industry-friendly effort: A $30 million "Opportunity Fund" to "enhance the likelihood that CIRM funded projects will obtain funding for Phase III clinical trials (e.g. follow-on financing), (ii) provide a potential source of co-funding in the earlier stages of clinical development, and (iii) provide CIRM funded projects with access to pharma and large biotech partners that can provide valuable expertise in the areas of regulatory, clinical trial design and manufacturing process development."
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