Tuesday, September 25, 2012

$700,000 Blue-ribbon Study of CIRM All But Finished

The $700,000 study of the $3 billion California stem cell agency is nearly concluded and is expected to be released sometime in November.

A draft of the report has been sent out for “peer review” and no additional public meetings are scheduled, according to a spokeswoman for the Institute of Medicine(IOM), which is conducting the study. The IOM did not respond to questions from the California Stem Cell Report about the number of peer reviewers or how they were selected.

The study began last year under a contract with the stem cell agency, which commissioned the effort, in part, because agency directors hoped the findings by the blue-ribbon panel would bolster efforts to win voter approval of another multi-billion dollar state bond issue. More recently the agency has explored the possibility of private financing to continue operations.

The agency is expected to run out of funds for new awards in 2017. It currently has something in the neighborhood of $700 million for awards that is not already committed in one fashion or another.

Christine Stencel, senior media relations officer for the IOM, said in an email,
There will be no further information-gathering meetings. The committee members have finished drafting their report and it is now undergoing peer review. Reviewers are anonymous to study staff and committee members; they will be listed in the front matter of the report when it’s finished and released.”
She said the stem cell agency will not be given an opportunity to comment further. Stencel said,
Sponsors are not treated as peer reviewers; that is, they’re not afforded an opportunity to comment on IOM draft reports prior to public release. IOM is aiming for a public release in November (the exact time frame will hinge on the duration of the peer review, which is influenced by people’s schedules and adherence to deadlines). IOM is looking at options for how best to hold this release, whether there will be an event of some sort. Once plans are set, they’ll be noted on the project web pages and IOM will alert the various stakeholders and interested parties of the plans. The study is moving along and we’re looking forward to the report’s debut in the not too distant future.”

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:29 PM

    I thought that there was to be another meeting in the East? With all that has gone on over the past few months IOM REALLY NEEDS ANOTHER MEETING. Is this going to be another Little Hoover Commission waste of time and money? Whatever the IOM conclusions/recommendations will CIRM one more time ignore the outcome? I would bet the farm on it that they will ignore any possible change in structure and process.

    From anonymous biotech exec


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