Thursday, March 10, 2011

California to Partner with AlphaMed on Stem Cell Research Journal

A $600,000 venture into scientific publishing with a North Carolina firm today received the go-ahead from the governing board of the California stem cell agency.

Anthony Atala
The endeavor with AlphaMed Press of Durham, N.C., is expected to focus on translational aspects of stem cell research. The research journal would operate independently of CIRM and have a $1 million annual budget. CIRM would contribute $200,000 of that for each of three years.

Some members of the CIRM board expressed a desire for assurances that the journal would publish "negative" findings, which they said some journals are loath to do. Director Philip Pizzo, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, said commercial interests have actively moved to suppress the publication of negative findings. Pizzo had high praise, however, for the new journal's editor, Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

A CIRM staff memo said that the AlphaMed had agreed to publish negative results, but the matter is expected to be brought up at the May CIRM board meeting. That raises the possibility that a final contract with AlphaMed may be delayed, although that issue was not discussed at the board meeting.

CIRM President Alan Trounson said AlphaMed currently has an office in Palo Alto and plans to expand it.

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