Friday, June 03, 2011

Advanced Cell Technology and the California Stem Cell Agency

Over in the Investor Stemcell Forum, participants are engaged in a bit of a fracas concerning whether Advanced Cell Technology of Santa Monica, Ca., has ever failed to receive a CIRM grant.

The trigger for the discussion was a piece on the California Stem Cell Report concerning the selection of a new chair for the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

The June 2 item said, "Bond financier Jonathan Thomas says he would liquidate his holdings in Advanced Cell Technology of Santa Monica, Ca., an unsuccessful applicant for CIRM funding, if he is elected chairman of the California stem cell agency."

For the record, Nature reported on Nov. 29, 2010, that ACT has applied several times for CIRM grants but never was approved. In 2008, the California Stem Cell Report carried an item about how an ACT scientist publicly complained that a financial conflict of interest played a role in one grant denial.

The California stem cell agency refuses to disclose the names of rejected applicants. The winning applicants are only identified by CIRM after the board acts on their applications.

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