Thursday, December 27, 2007

CIRM: waiting to spin a bad story, or hiding an empty cupboard?

Californiastemcellreport, a blog written by a former reporter, continues coverage of CIRM and Proposition 71 from the viewpoint of a reporter. Thus, of the recent non-discussion by CIRM of grant applications by private entities, the report notes:

The California stem cell agency Friday [Dec. 21] declined to disclose the numbers that would provide some indication of how businesses are responding to the agency's first-ever attempt to solicit grant applications from the private sector.


Often when public agencies delay the release of information, it means the information is negative and reflects poorly on the bureaucracy in question. Other times, it can mean that the agency is trying to figure out how to spin the information. We suspect the latter is what is occurring in this case.

IPBiz notes that the fundamental problem with CIRM and the private sector is that CIRM refuses to develop a coherent policy on intellectual property arising from CIRM funding. The big question isn't spinning a bad story, but rather not developing policy.

IPBiz had earlier noted:

At this late date, CIRM has not come up with an intellectual property policy. As a result, "home run hitters" like Yamanaka are not even using CIRM funds, and California taxpayers will have to pay for the "home runs" of these guys. The "singles hitters" are stumbling over themselves to grab some Prop. 71 loot, and, as we have witnessed, don't even care about conflict-of-interest policy.

Even for the home run hitters, the chances of therapeutic uses for embyronic stem cells on a ten year time scale are remote. For the singles hitters, well .... There's likely nothing at the end of this rainbow.


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