Friday, October 21, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown on Borrowing to Finance Stem Cell Research

Here is what California Gov. Jerry Brown had to say yesterday about the $50.8 million in taxable bond proceeds that are going to the $3 billion California stem cell agency. It was a part of a press release touting the virtues of the financially troubled state's most recent borrowing.

Much of the language in Brown's statement appears to have originated with the stem cell agency, which campaigned with the Brown administration for a share of the bond proceeds.

The stem cell agency has not yet responded to our inquiries concerning the amount of money that was provided.

Brown's statement follows:
"CIRM’s approximately $190 million in existing proceeds, plus the additional $50 million, will be used to fund the following program activities:

"• The first Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trial for a human embryonic stem cell therapy (for spinal cord injury). CIRM’s $25 million commitment to this project has been matched by a $29 million commitment of private funds.
"• 14 Disease Research Teams that are proceeding towards clinical trials of therapies to treat diseases ranging from HIV/AIDS to dry macular degeneration (a common cause of blindness) to neurological diseases such as ALS. One of these awards is a $20 million loan which has generated approximately $20 million in additional funds by the company receiving the CIRM award.
"• Training and internship awards to fund the training of almost 900 promising new scientists and technical staff at the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges and other institutions in California.
"• CIRM-funded research and related matching funds are expected to create or retain approximately 5,000 jobs per year and more than $60 million in new state and local tax revenues.
"• The current portfolio of stem cell research at CIRM, including the grant programs scheduled through June 2012, have resulted in over 100 scientists and 1,000 other highly-trained researchers being recruited to the state. The Stanford Stem Cell Institute estimates that each of these researchers will bring an average of $1.5 million in research funding to California, for a total of $150 million of additional research funding and associated jobs."
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