Friday, April 13, 2012

CEO of Biotime's Comments on Stem Cell Agency and Development of Therapies

Michael West, CEO of Biotime, Inc.of Alameda, Ca., has published the text of his prepared remarks to the Institute of Medicine panel examining the performance of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

Here is one excerpt from the statement by West, who was also CEO at Advanced Cell Technology and founded Geron.
"To put it simply, stem cell research by itself will not lead to cures. Research and DEVELOPMENT leads to cures. In my opinion, if CIRM fails to deliver on its goal to deliver cures, it will not be a result of internal governance issues. Instead, it will be a result of inefficient capital allocation. A graphic way of visualizing my point is to say that CIRM has historically funded primarily research, and little product development, i.e. large “R” little “d”. Approximately 5% of CIRM’s expenditures have been allocated to biotechnology and health science entities whose expertise is product development, and 95% has been allocated to nonprofit institutions in the state for basic research. Human therapeutic product development in the United States requires a very intense and expensive process for approval that is primarily focused on development side of the equation. In this respect, therapeutic approvals differ significantly from the discovery and development of silicon-based technologies that have been so successfully commercialized in California."
Here is a link to the full text of what West posted on the Biotime web site.

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