“The initial review was tainted by conflict of interest concerns. The re-review was conducted by staff in a peremptory manner without the usual CIRM due process: no patient advocates were involved, no comparator grants were evaluated, and no formal review reports have been provided. Only a pithy, dismissive summary by CIRM staff has appeared, and that only yesterday.”
“The commercial potential of (the earlier funded product) has been validated by a collaborative/option agreement between Capricor (the company I founded to develop regenerative therapeutics) and Janssen, an arm of the pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson. This represents the first time that 'big pharma' has partnered with a regenerative medicine biotech to develop a product.”
“The present proposal (DYNAMIC) is ready to go into patients immediately; it is FDA and IRB approved. In fact, we have a list of 30+ patients who are waiting to be screened for enrollment, as soon as funds are available. These patients are ill, with a mortality exceeding that of many cancers. Indeed, several eligible patients have died in the interlude between the last ICOC meeting, when this proposal might have been funded, and the present.
“DYNAMIC would be the first study in the CIRM portfolio to target hard clinical endpoints (mortality and re-hospitalization) in a very high-risk population (that of advanced heart failure). The population to be studied is very different, and much sicker, than in the ALLSTAR trial.”