Tuesday, August 21, 2018

California Stem Cell Agency Touts its Economic Impact on the Golden State

Art Torres at Assembly hearing last week
The California stem cell agency last week told its story to a state Assembly committee on biotechnology, including economic figures from a study financed by the agency itself. 

Art Torres, a former state legislator and now vice chairman of the agency's board, kicked off the proceedings Aug. 15 with a brief overview. He also said that agency-backed projects have "brought in over $2.7 billion in investments to those projects from other sources (industry partners, co-funding and additional follow-on funding such as non-CIRM grants or philanthropy."

Torres said the add-on funding was the product of the $2.6 billion that has been actually awarded during the nearly 14-year lifespan of the agency, known formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The agency was provided with $3 billion in state bond funding in 2004. Cash for new awards is expected to run out by the end of next year.

Here are links to the remarks at the hearing by CIRM CEO Maria Millan and David Jensen, publisher of this web site. Tomorrow the California Stem Cell Report will carry the text of remarks by Don Reed, a longstanding patient advocate for stem cell therapies. 

(Toda,y, Aug. 21, the stem cell agency reprinted Jensen's remarks on its blog, noting that "at CIRM we know that not everyone agrees with us all the time, or supports all the decisions" of the agency.) 

The full hearing can be seen here and downloaded with closed captioning. An audio file is also available at the same URL.

Here is the text of Torres' remarks.

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