Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Clarifying the Path to Cash: California Looking for Money from Its Stem Cell Investments

CIRM chart
The $3 billion California stem cell agency is moving to revise its rules for royalties and revenues that may be derived from its research, simplifying them while focusing more sharply on likely cash-generating products.

The proposal comes before the agency's Intellectual Property  (IP) Subcommittee Thursday at a 10 a.m. meeting that has a number of locations throughout California where the public can participate.

A document prepared for the meeting said the complexity of the existing IP regulations has led to disagreements, created an excessive administrative burden and treated for-profit and non-profit enterprises differently.

John M. Simpson of Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica, Ca., who participated extensively in the early development of the IP rules, praised the proposed changes.

Responding to an inquiry from the California Stem Cell Report, he said:
"The proposed changes in the IP regulations should simplify oversight for CIRM and make expectations for all awardees clearer.  It puts nonprofit and commercial entities on the same footing with regard to their revenue sharing responsibilities. Most importantly the new rules will emphasize getting revenue for the state  from  companies who actually commercialize the results of CIRM-funded research.  That’s exactly as it should be. 
“Nonetheless, despite the overblown promises of Prop. 71 campaigners, the state as yet to realize any revenue from research CIRM has funded.  There could be a little money this year."
"This change in the IP rules makes sense and is the best way forward,  but realistically I doubt the state will ever see significant revenue from the research it has funded."
Proposition 71 created the California stem cell effort, known officially as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine or CIRM. One of the promises of the 2004 campaign was that it would lead to as much as $1.1 billion in revenues to the state. No royalties have yet been announced. 

Telephonic locations for the public exist in Irvine, Napa, South San Francisco, San Diego and San Francisco in addition to the agency's headquarters in Oakland. Specific addresses can be found on the agenda, which also includes directions for a listen-only audiocast.
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