“Why did you give the agency the money?
“Did you place on conditions on its use?
“Did anyone connected with the agency indicate in advance that your donation would be desired? If so who? Who did you deal with primarily on the donation -- Trounson, Thomas or...?
“The donation came one month after grant reviewers rejected StemCells Inc.'s Alzheimer's application. Do you think it was appropriate to make the donation and then ask the board twice to override its reviewers?
“Do you think the donation and subsequent action on StemCells, Inc.'s Alzheimer's application will negatively color the perception of future efforts by CIRM at private fundraising?”
- It is critical to understand that there are unpublished scientific discoveries in progress in each of these nations. Often, publication may trail a scientific discovery by nine months or more.
- The travel requested by CIRM provides a critical link for the timely transmission of valuable new information. California cannot afford to lose the opportunity to harness discoveries in other countries to advance the development of therapies in California and to capture the opportunity to advance therapies for patients instead of using California taxpayer dollars to duplicate discoveries already mastered in other countries.
- While CIRM’s scientific staff works with scientists in other countries to capture the scientific knowledge for the benefit of California’s therapy development teams, the Chairman’s Office works with international finance ministers, the premiers of international states, and foreign funding agencies to ensure funding allocations for these bilateral funding agreements. These discussions often involve face-to-face negotiations in foreign nations and states, in addition to meetings at international conferences, all of which are supported by extensive staff work in California.
- CIRM issued its first co-funding awards early in 2009. Over the last two years, these agreements have yielded $57 million in international funds actually approved through peer review. This $57 million represents participation by only the first five countries and one international state with which CIRM established a collaboration. Now, CIRM has agreements with nine countries and two international states and an additional three countries will be added in the near future.
- Even if CIRM were only to obtain $30 million per year in international matching funds, the ratio of return on CIRM’s $206,920 travel expenditures would be approximately 145 to 1.
- Proposition 71 specifically anticipated and directs CIRM to develop leverage and global leadership to capture the benefit for patients.
(Editor's note: The applications in this round were reviewed once in April 2012 by CIRM's full grant review group. StemCells, Inc.'s application was subject to a reevaluation after Klein's appeal in July 2012 and rejected again, but it was not a full review. Klein may be referring also an earlier round that provided grants for planning to apply for the full $20 million.)