Monday, June 24, 2019

CIRM Application Shutdown: Text of Robert Klein's Comments

Here is the text of comments by Robert Klein, chairman of Americans for Cures, on the shutdown of applications at the California stem cell agency. Klein was responding to questions from the California Stem Cell Report.
"When Californians learn of the remarkable progress from the California funded stem cell and genetic therapies FDA approved human trials in restoring major function to paralyzed patients, to save the lives of children with severe immune diseases, to restoring sight to patients that are blind, the support for stem cell research and therapy development exceeds 70% in recent polls.
"California’s leadership in cellular and genetic therapies, through its state funded research and human trials, currently supports 51 human trials for a range of chronic disease and injuries, and 24 more human trials are in progress by biotech companies based upon California’s funded research.
"The life-changing and life-restoring work of California’s scientists and physicians will predictably earn the chance for renewed funding. Polls indicate that California voters want the opportunity to vote in 2020 on continuing this visionary California initiative, originally funded in 2004 through Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The gap in available state funding from the fall of 2019 through November 2020 will hold back additional critical human trials for new life saving and/or disease mitigating therapies; but, I have faith that Patient Advocates and California voters will back new funding at the polls in 2020 and continue California’s remarkable contribution to this medical revolution that effects every one of our lives.
"In advancing the research and therapies, the California research funding agency has also gained broad financial support for its portfolio of research and human trials based on the strength of more than 2850 peer reviewed published medical discoveries and the 75 human trials directly funded or separately funded supporting the California funded discoveries. The matching funds from donors, institutions, private companies and non-profit organizations have already exceeded $3,250,000,000, more than a 100% match on the $3,000,000,000 originally approved in state funding.
"This medical revolution holds the promise of restoring health and quality of life for many of California’s individuals and families suffering from chronic disease and injury. However, the last tactical mile to bring this broad spectrum of therapies to patients will require more funding and the thoughtful support of California’s public as the human trials and discoveries are refined and tested, overcome numerous obstacles or complications, and ultimately serve to improve the life and reduce the suffering of every one of us."
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