Friday, June 08, 2012

Business-friendly Changes Proposed for Revenue Sharing by Stem Cell Agency

The $3 billion California stem cell agency, which hopes to generate income for the state through the sale of stem cell therapies, is moving to make its profit-sharing rules more friendly to business.

The proposed changes will come up Monday morning before the Intellectual Property and Industry Subcommittee of the CIRM governing board.

No stem cell research funded by CIRM has yet been commercialized. Its intellectual property regulations, which determine payback criteria, were developed shortly after CIRM was created in 2004. Ed Penhoet, one of the founders of Chiron and now a venture capitalist, chaired the panel that worked out the rules. He has since left the CIRM board.

A CIRM staff memo described the payment rules in the case of a "blockbuster" therapy as "uneven" and "lumpy." The memo said they "could be a disincentive for the engagement of industry." Other rules were described as creating "administrative challenges and uncertainty." The proposed changes, the memo said, would address those issues and ensure a "comparable economic return to California."

Here are links to the specific changes -- see here and here.

Public sites where interested parties can take part in the discussion are located in San Francisco, La Jolla, Los Angeles and Irvine. Specific addresses can be found on themeeting agenda.

The proposed changes must go before the full governing board and then into the state's administrative law process before taking full effect.  

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