Santa Monica, CA — The California cell stem institute’s scientific strategic plan shows refreshing honesty by acknowledging that it is unlikely to develop stem cell therapy for routine use during the next decade, consumer advocates said today.
“During the Proposition 71 campaign, proponents implied that miraculous cures were just around the corner,” said John M. Simpson, Stem Cell Project Director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. “This plan acknowledges just how difficult the task ahead is and is a welcome change from the hype that has all too often been associated with stem cell research. Californians are entitled to an honest assessment of the prospects for research they are funding.”
The plan, released today, will be presented to the stem cell oversight committee at its meeting in Los Angeles next week and must be approved by the 29-member board. Proposition 71 authorizes $3 billion in bonds to finance stem cell research in California. Including the financing, $6 billion of taxpayer money is at stake.
The plan allocates the largest amount — $462.6 million — to so-called translational research aimed at bridging the gap from basic stem cell discoveries to treatment in the clinic. It budgets $451 million for clinical trials and envisions sharing costs for late stage trials with industry.
“Requiring industry to share funding of clinical tests makes sense. CIRM should leverage its money and allocate funds where they will have the most impact to benefit all Californians,” said Simpson. “This never was meant to be a blank check for biotech.”
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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is California’s leading non-profit and non-partisan consumer watchdog group. For more information visit us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org. Our stem cell information page is located at: http://www.StemCellWatch.org.