Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Kaiser Healthline: California's Stem Cell Program Short on Cash and Cures

An overview by Kaiser Healthline of California's nearly 15-year-old stem cell research program received attention in California and nationally last month. 

"Despite Failed Promises, Stem Cell Advocates Again Want Taxpayers To Pony Up Billions" said the headline on the article by Ana Ibarra.

Her piece carried both positive and negative comments on the performance of the $3 billion agency, which is running out of cash for new awards. The enterprise hopes voters will approve in November 2020 another $5.5 billion to continue its work.

The article quoted Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Berkeley-based Center for Genetics and Society, a longtime critic of the agency, which was created through a ballot initiative campaign in 2004. 
Darnovsky said that if the agency, known formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), is measured against the campaign promises, “then CIRM has been a flop.”  
The agency, however, pointed to its 56 clinical trials, along with the stories of patients who have benefitted from that research, ranging from children who are alive today as the result of experimental treatment to spinal cord injury victims who are seeing their lives improve. 
Ibarra's article was picked up nationally by SalonPolitico noted it in its California newsletter.  The Sacramento Bee, the only daily newspaper in the state capital, published it as well.  
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