Friday, July 12, 2019

More News Reports on Halt in California Stem Cell Funding Applications

The journal Science this week joined the publications beginning to report on the financial travails of the $3 billion California stem cell agency. 

In a piece by Jocelyn Kaiser, the journal briefly summarized the agency's activities and its outlook for the future. Kaiser wrote, 
"Some researchers who explore the basic science of stem cells had already been looking for other funding sources as (the agency) began to emphasize clinical work and their support wound down. But others, especially those planning clinical trials, will be hit hard.
April Pyle, UCLA photo
"'It’s going to be a huge impact on my lab and many others if they end,” says April Pyle of UC Los Angeles (UCLA), whose 11-person group works on using muscle stem cells to treat muscular dystrophy. Her last CIRM grant ends in March 2020 and although she also has some NIH funding, it does not support the animal testing and other studies needed to move her work toward a clinical trial."
CIRM is the abbreviation of the official name of the stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Pyle has received $4.6 million from CIRM and UCLA $289 million, according to the agency's figures.

Kaiser also wrote, 
"Ongoing payments for approved projects continue, but scientists are already tightening their belts for a funding gap. They are also contemplating the end of a boom in stem cell research in the state. California’s voters may be asked to renew CIRM with another bond initiative next year, 'but there’s no guarantee,' says Arnold Kriegstein, who heads a stem cell center at the University of California (UC), San Francisco, and has received CIRM funding in the past."
Kriegstein has received $4 million from CIRM and UC San Francisco $192 million.

The shutdown of CIRM applications was first reported by the California Stem Cell Report on June 20.

Others have recently followed, in one form or another, including The Scientist, Genome Web, Capitol Weekly, National Review, The Beacon, Spine Review and LifeNews. Sphere: Related Content

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