Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stem Cell Agency Adds Fresh Details to IOM Response

The California stem cell agency today issued a press release touting “dramatic changes” at the agency in response to critical recommendations by the Institute of Medicine.

The press release contained a few more details about the changes than were released in the Power Point presentation yesterday. Here is the text of those details.
  • “The 13 Board members appointed from institutions eligible for funding from the stem cell agency, such as those in the University of California system, would no longer vote on any grants brought before the Board but would instead abstain
  • “All members of the Board would be able to participate in discussions on applications but only patient advocates and independent members of the Board would be able to vote on funding issues (members would continue to refrain from any discussion of specific applications from their institutions)
  • “Patient Advocates would continue to be members of the Grants Working Groups but would not vote on individual applications
  • “Programmatic review, aimed at balancing the agency’s portfolio, would take place at public Board meetings where members have a chance to make changes to recommendations from the Grants Working Group
  • “Industry involvement would increase, where appropriate, on the Grants Working Group, and also feature in a newly constituted Scientific Advisory Board; the structure and membership of this group is still under discussion
  • “Appeals on applications not recommended for funding will be handled by science staff who will evaluate them, determine if they merit further review by the Grants Working Group, and ultimately make recommendations to the Board. Staff will also be allowed to advocate for additional grants not recommended for funding by the Grants Working Group that they believe should be considered in programmatic review
  • “The Chair and President would share a division of responsibilities with the President supervising all scientific operations and internal operational responsibilities. In addition the Chief Financial Officer would report to the President. The Chair would handle the ‘external affairs’ aspect of the agency, things such as financial sustainability to raise additional funds, state legislative relations, bond financing, public communications etc.
  • “IOM recommendation on the creation of a Scientific Advisory Board to provide counsel on such issues as funding priorities and portfolio strategy will be implemented by staff
  • “IOM recommendations on Intellectual Property will be referred to the agency’s IP subcommittee which will review and report back to the full board with options and recommendations
  • “IOM recommendations on Sustainability: Chair, working with the President, will develop a plan to address this and present to the Board when ready

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