Monday, February 23, 2015

A Critical Perspective: Klein's $100 Billion Stem Cell/Genomics Plan 'Boggles the Mind'

The San Diego U-T newspaper today reported the first criticism of the $100 billion stem cell/genomics research plan being floated by the former chairman of the California stem cell agency, Bob Klein.

The challenge to the proposal came from John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica, Ca., in an article by reporter Bradley Fikes.

Simpson, a longtime observer of the agency and once heavily involved in formulation of its intellectual property rules, said the proposal for the international consortium “boggles the mind.”

Fikes reported that Simpson found the international plan flawed on several counts: It would lock money into specific areas of research regardless of the state of the science; it would be cumbersome to run, and it would be expensive because it would use borrowed money.

Fikes wrote,  
"’I don't understand how this could possibly work,’ Simpson said in a Monday interview. ‘The logistics of getting together such a (15 nation) coalition boggles the mind.’”
Simpson said Klein, a real estate investment banker who left the agency in 2011, was peddling illusory benefits. Fikes reported,
"'That's the same premise as he's tried to argue with Prop. 71, and I don't think that's been true at all,’ Simpson said. While the (California stem cell) program has resulted in some major research advances, it hasn't yet generated enough of an economic return and proven treatments to justify it, he said.
"'Pay as you can afford to pay,’ Simpson said. ‘I think that's a better approach to research, generally. That's what democratically elected governments are supposed to do, is come up with appropriate funding for the various things they're faced with. If you had this kind of money to throw at certain problems, it's not entirely clear to me, by any means, that stem cells would have the biggest impact. You might do a hell of a lot more with simple things like malaria eradication.’" 
Fikes wrapped Simpson’s critique into the earlier version of his article on Klein’s plan.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment