“Whether it’s true or not, this has every appearance of being a payback for the money CIRM paid out to Irv Weissman and Stanford University. StemCells Inc. and Stanford have received more than $300 million from CIRM — more than any other researchers.”
“CIRM was created by the people of California to help accelerate stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs. Our responsibility is to them. So it is essential that we conduct these efforts with fairness and integrity. We take even the appearance of conflicts of interest very seriously.”The agency also said that it was sending a letter to Trounson and StemCells, Inc., “reminding them of the legal limitations that apply to Dr. Trounson under state law.
“1. Communicating with Board members and CIRM employees on behalf of Stem Cells, Inc. for the purposes of influencing any administrative action, including the award or revocation of a grant or loan, involving Stem Cells, Inc. for one year following the termination of his employment with CIRM; and
“2. Assisting Stem Cells, Inc. in responding to a Request for Applications in which Dr. Trounson was involved as a CIRM employee or assisting Stem Cells Inc. with its existing loan.”
The San Francisco Chronicle carried a story this afternoon on the agency's ban regarding Trounson.
Stephanie Lee wrote in the Chron,
“'It’s a pity that Trounson and StemCells Inc. simply don’t get it,' Simpson said. 'A full review of CIRM activities relating to StemCells Inc., as Mills pledged, is absolutely essential and the results must be made public as soon as available.'”Bradley Fikes of the San Diego U-T quoted CIRM Chairman Jonathan Thomas as telling his board members,
"The announcement (by StemCells, Inc.)raises serious and obvious concerns on a number of fronts."