$30 million end plan
- Introduction of 50 new therapeutic or device candidates into development
- Working to create a more favorable federal regulatory environment
- Reduction by 50 percent the time it takes basic research to move into a clinical trial
- Creation of two centers at $15 million each to assist in much of the "backroom" work needed for clinical trials
- Creation of an online, hook-up center for researchers looking for collaborators to advance their work
Arlene Chiu, former director of CIRM's scientific programs and now with the City of Hope, told the agency board that the plan was audacious and bold. CIRM board member Sherry Lansing, former chair of the UC board of regents, praised the plan's "sense of urgency." Another board member, Steve Juelsgaard, former executive vice president of Genentech, said the plan contained projects that he had never seen before in the biotech industry.
Asked for comment, CIRM board member Al Rowlett, who is chief executive officer of the Turning Point mental health program in Sacramento, said,
“It’s ambitious, but then isn’t that what the people of California were when they approved Proposition 71. They wanted to create something that was going to change the face of medicine. That’s what we hope to do….”
He acknowledged the risk and size of the task, which he said is aimed at transforming regenerative medicine. But he remains optimistic that the agency’s tiny team of about 55 persons can pull it off. He gave his team full credit for developing the spending proposal.
“There are risks inherent in the development of new, disruptive technology. The bigger risk is failing to deliver on their underlying promise to bring new regenerative therapies to patients…. The bigger risk is not doing anything.”