Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Taxpayers are not venture capitalists

Californiastemcellreport has text from the New York Times on California's CIRM, the state body which funds stem cell research:

Pollack quoted Linda Iverson, a neuroscientist at the City of Hope, as saying at the hearing.

“To use taxpayer money essentially as venture capital money is beyond the pale.”

Pollack continued,
“Alan Trounson, CIRM’s president, responded by saying Californians had approved the $3 billion effort to develop therapies, 'not just to get the work in scientific journals.'“

Pollack concluded,
“In the meantime, 'a lot of people are running on fumes in their labs,' said Jeanne F. Loring, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.

Even with the federal financing restrictions lifted, Dr. Loring said, “We need CIRM.”

IPBiz notes that Iverson's remark is dead-on: taxpayers are not venture capitalists.

IPBiz notes additionally that California taxpayers were misled by Proposition 71 proponents into thinking that there would be
financial benefits to the state of California from patent royalties. The study by Baker at Stanford just cooked up numbers, with no basis in reality (and which, in a major accounting error, did not discount "future" money to "present" value). The whole advocacy by Prop. 71 backers was bogus, and the approval by voters was the result of false pretenses.

Andrew Pollack pointed to increasing skepticism of the need for CIRM:

Jesse Reynolds, a policy analyst at the Center for Genetics and Society, an organization based in Oakland that advocates oversight of new technologies, said: “The key question is whether the continued existence of CIRM is justified. Increasingly, signs are pointing to no, it’s not.”


Post a Comment

<< Home