Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The California Stem Cell Media Mix: 'Not Meant to Last Forever'

The Scientist magazine this week caught up with California stem cell matters, declaring that state stem cell agency "was not meant to last forever."

The piece by Chia-Yi Hou was a brief overview of California's stem cell agency, bringing the magazine's readers up-to-date about the current condition of the $3 billion research effort. 

"The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) was not meant to last forever, as it received a finite amount of government funds when it was formed," she wrote, referring to the stem cell agency by its official name.

Noting that the program was slow to begin its spending, The Scientist article continued, 
"Eventually, research ramped up and, with the help of CIRM, California has become a hotspot for the field. CIRM helped start stem cell labs in California and attract investments from pharmaceutical companies. 'I think it launched the whole field,' says stem cell researcher Jeanne Loring of Scripps Research in an email to The Scientist. 'At a time when the [National Institutes of Health] was not supporting much translational research using pluripotent stem cells, CIRM was investing heavily in that area.'" 
The piece said,
"Where CIRM funding has been crucial is funding preclinical studies that help get research 'from the bench to the bedside,' says stem cell and gene therapy researcher Stephanie Cherqui of the University of California, San Diego, who is the recipient of two awards totaling more than $17 million. Not many granting agencies have the means to provide millions of dollars to fund the toxicology, pharmacology, and manufacturing studies that are required by the US Food & Drug Administration before potential treatments can go into clinical trials, according to Cherqui."

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