Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Foxes, Chickens and Stem Cells

The California stem cell agency moved forward today with interim principles for intellectual property for its training grant program despite concerns that the concepts did not protect the taxpayers' investment in stem cell research.

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights of Santa Monica, targeted a proposal that would give nonprofit institutions ownership rights on discoveries.

"Asking the grantees to do the right thing after giving away the farm is like asking the fox to cough up the chickens after giving him the key to the hen house," Simpson told the Oversight Committee. (The full statement from the Foundation can be found here.

Jesse Reynolds of the Center for Genetics and Society also asked the board to ensure that stem therapies would be truly available to all Californians.

The panel approved the interim rules after modifying them slightly from the draft version (see "Not Like to Satisfy."). Inserted was a preference for non-exclusive licensing. Removed was a reference to a "tax" on royalties that might be imposed by the state. Instead the language was changed to indicate that the state might want to share in royalties in the future.

Some Oversight Committee members objected to language giving preference to therapies for underserved groups. Joan Samuelson, a committee member and president of the Parkinson's Action Network, said it could delay development of therapies for other groups.

But Marcy Feit, president of ValleyCare Health Systems, said removal of the language would "kill funding" for the stem cell agency.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog