“CIRM leaders always stressed that the road from research to the clinic would is unavoidably long and winding. But now, as they talk of seeking another round of cash — possibly asking taxpayers for $5 billion to make its mission permanent — they realize that a high-profile medical victory in the next 24 months may be the only realistic way to make their case.”
“Plans for a warp-speed CIRM is not without its critics.
“Some researchers think the agency should be investing more in basic stem-cell research that may provide the progress that could give private investors confidence. They include people like Dr. Arnold Kriegstein, director of the stem cell program at the University of California, San Francisco.
"'A modest investment in basic science will pay greater dividends,’ Kriegstein said.
"A speed-focused CIRM may also not be best for taxpayers, said John Simpson, an advocate with Consumer Watchdog and a frequent CIRM critic.
"’I understand that they want to be more efficient,’ Simpson said. ‘I question whether they can do it with the necessary and thorough vetting of proposals.’"
"Even in pharma, with all the experience and depth, the likelihood of success is relatively small. The stem cell pathway is less certain. There's bound to be more risk."