Proposition 71: buildings vs. research funds
Prop. 71, which altered the California Constitution and created CIRM, provided for spending as much as $300 million on laboratory facilities. If the agency does not spend all of the sum, the remainder could go for more direct development of cures and therapies, a high priority for patient advocates who sit on the board. At the same time, top executives from California universities sit on the Oversight Committee. Their view is that they do not have enough room for existing researchers, much less the ones that are being recruited to come to the Golden State to perform embryonic stem cell research financed by CIRM. Construction costs are spiraling upward, and any grants will buy less in 12 months than they do today.
In California, money NOT spent on "bricks and mortar" can go to research. Things are structured a bit differently in New Jersey.
The words "direct development of cures and therapies" are tricky. What --direct development of cures and therapies-- is californiastemcellreport thinking of? Paying Cha and company to try to re-invigorate the SCNT approach of Hwang Woo Suk? EVEN IF successful, that will NOT lead to direct development of cures and therapies. There's a lot of hocus pocus going on at the Left Coast.
The stemcellreport concluded the post with the following:
The committee will be operating in an atmosphere damaged by the rancor of last Friday's Facilities meeting. For a closer look at the acrimony, see the item below.