Sunday, November 01, 2009

A $230 Million California Stem Cell Web

The publicity last week from recipients of $230 million from the California stem cell agency portrays an impressive web of scientists in the Golden State and beyond.

The list below began as a simple update of an earlier item with links to news releases from the beneficiaries of CIRM largess, in this case the agency's largest ever research round. But, as we gathered the information, what became abundantly clear are the significant financial and scientific ties between institutions that might seem to be rivals under other circumstances.

No doubt they continue to compete in other areas and will be competitors in the future for grants, talent and more. But in this case researchers put together powerful teams that won tens of millions of dollars for themselves and their institutions.

The releases from the institutions contain more information about the researchers and their projects than is contained in CIRM's press release on the disease team grants. But CIRM also provides separately summaries of the scientific reviews of the applications, which carry analysis, criticism and praise of the proposals.

Here is the latest list of news releases issued by the institutions and businesses.

Beckman Institute, shares $15 million with City of Hope and USC

Burnham Institute, no news release available, shares $19 million with UC San Francisco and Ludwig Institute

Calimmune, Inc., of Tucson, Az, no news release available, shares $20 million with UCLA

Cedars of Sinai Medical Center, $6 million

Children's Hospital, Los Angeles, no news release available, shares $9 million with UCLA

City of Hope, $18 million and shares $15 million with USC and Beckman Institute

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, no news release available, shares $19 million with UC San Francisco and Burnham, $16 million with Salk and UC San Diego

Novocell, shares $20 million with UC San Francisco

Salk Institute. shares $16 million with UC San Diego and Ludwig Institute

Sangamo Biosciences, Inc.
, of Richmond, Ca., shares $15 million with City of Hope

Stanford, $32 million, and shares $20 million with UCLA and USC, $20 million with UCLA

UCLA, shares $20 million with Calimmune, Inc., of Tucson, Az.; $9 million with Children's Hospital, Los Angeles; $20 million with Stanford and USC; $20 million with Stanford

UC San Diego, $20 million , shares $16 million with Salk and Ludwig

UC San Francisco, shares $39 million with Ludwig Institute, Novocell and Burnham

UC Santa Barbara, shares $16 million with USC

The international partners listed in the CIRM news release are the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom($8 million via the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford University, no news release available from Weatherall); the University Health Network ($35 million)of Toronto, Canada.

Here is a link to CIRM's disesease team press package, including a video of the lengthy news conference. Only one reporter from a major publication was present at the news conference, Andy Pollack of the New York Times. No television stations sent crews.

(Editor's note: The earlier item that we posted concerning the institutional press releases has vanished from this Web site for reasons probably only fully understood by Google, which provides the blogging service that we use. Also, an earlier version of this item incorrectly said Pollack was the only reporter present at the news conference. CIRM reports that two other reporters from local outlets were on the scene.)

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