Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stem Cell Agency Chair Pleased With Likelihood of Fresh Funding

STANFORD -- The chairman of the California stem cell agency this morning expressed optimism about staving off a cash flow crisis at CIRM with additional funding from the sale of state bonds this fall.

Jonathan Thomas, a Los Angeles bond financier, told the CIRM governing board meeting here that he has been dealing with the governor's and state treasurer's offices during the past two months and is "very happy with the way things are going."

Without additional funding from state bonds, the $3 billion research enterprise will face a severe cash crunch next spring. Earlier this year, the state suspended the sale of general obligation bonds, the only source of funding for CIRM.

Thomas, elected in June as chairman of CIRM, did not go in details about the bond sale this fall. But he noted that it is a "tricky time" because of the state's financial crisis.

The size and timing of the bond sale is yet to be determined. The state treasurer's office has said many details are still being worked out.

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