|Robert Klein, CIRM photo|
“How do you turn $500 million into as much as $1 billion over 10 years? Loan it to struggling biotech companies that could default on the loans at a rate of up to 50 percent.
“Sound too good to be true? Maybe, but that's what the California stem cell agency is projecting….”
“…have the option to elect to convert their award from a grant to a loan within a specified period of time from the effective date of the award, e.g., seven years. Unless the parties agreed to different terms, the awardee would be required to repay the loan balance within ten days of making the election to convert from a grant to a loan at an interest rate that would escalate based on the date of repayment. For example, an awardee that repaid CIRM within three years of the effective date of the award would pay a lower interest rate than an awardee that elected to convert to a loan six years after the effective date."
(Editor's note: The meeting was postponed on March 19. No explanation was posted on the CIRM Web site. The link to the memo from Mills was removed from the IP agenda, but a copy still could be found (as of this writing on March 19) on the March 26 agenda for the board meeting.)