After a week of being too close to call, Californias Proposition 14 has passed, allowing the state to issue $5.5 billion in bonds for stem cell research.
The measure flew under the radar early in the election season, with almost no opposition and $15 million spent by proponents. But Californians were split on the measure, with just 51% of residents voting yes as of Nov. 12 when the race was called.
Proposition 14 was brought forward by real estate developer Robert Klein, who formerly served as board chairman of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The agency was created by another ballot proposition in 2004, and remains one of the only state-funded stem cell research agencies in the United States.
John Matsusaka, a University of Southern California economist with a focus on the ballot process, says this measure put a tough decision on voters.
Theres many useful things you might want to do research on, is this the one you want to put so much money into, he asked. This was an interest group who said they wanted to carve out one thing for themselves which raises some questions.
CIRM was envisioned as a mecca of biological discovery that would make California a leader in curing diseases such as Alzheimers, cancer and diabetes. Proponents say a new injection of state funding will help them continue this important work.
But the agency has faced criticism over the years from those who feel the promised research hasnt materialized, and that conflicts of interest have compromised the institutes integrity.
David Jensen, author of a book about the Institute called Californias Great Stem Cell Experiment, says even with the passage of Proposition 14, doubts about the agencys future remain.
[In 2004], people were led to believe that stem cell therapies and cures were right around the corner. That did not turn out to be the case, he said. It's very important to finance stem cell research. The question is, should the state do that?
California voters were first asked to weigh in on stem cell funding in 2004. At the time, George W. Bush was in the White House and had banned federally funded embryonic stem cell research.
That meant California scientists investigating HIV/AIDS treatments, Parkinson's cures and more were fighting over a trickling well of funding. So they took to the ballot with Proposition 71, which passed with 59% of the votes. That allowed the state to issue $3 billion in bonds for the creation of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Because of the timing, it was a shot in the arm to the field, said Zach Hall, who served as the first president of CIRM.
Proposition 14 opponents argue that because former President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, California scientists can now lean on federal grants and private industry funding to carry their work through.
The NIH could support most of the work that CIRM has funded in the past 10 years, and so the rationale for having a new proposition and increasing the amount of money is unclear, Hall said. You could say just as well why dont we have a state agency to fund CRISPR research?
But supporters argue that federal grants are competitive, and there isnt enough money in the national cache or in private industry to backfill what CIRM provides for researchers across the state.
Robert Klein, former chairman of the Institutes board and leader of the campaign supporting Proposition 14, said that without new bond funding, the Institutes existing research projects would be out of money once they reach the ends of their current grant cycles.
Those trials will not have any funding available to take them forward, he said. And we have a pent-up demand waiting for these new funds from Prop 14 for dozens of new trials for new therapies.
Last summer CIRM told researchers it would stop accepting new grant applications, with the exception of $5 million in emergency funding it set aside for COVID-19 research.
Where Did The First $3 Billion Go?
Supporters of Proposition 14 say the work that CIRM has done over the years has brought California to the forefront in stem cell research, and laid the groundwork for cures to hundreds of diseases.
The agency has distributed hundreds of research grants to public and private universities, medical research institutions and for-profit companies.
Nearly 40%of that money has gone into basic research that helps scientists understand stem cells and how they might be used in medicine, according to a San Francisco Chronicle analysis of CIRM spending. The list of conditions researchers have focused on is long, and includes heart disease, Huntingtons, leukemia, Alzheimers and glioblastoma, to name just a few.
CIRM put 16% of the money into building infrastructure, including about a dozen stem cell research centers, according to the analysis. Another $388 million went toward taking research out of the lab and applying it to humans.
Of the 90 clinical trials the Institute has funded, two drugs have earned FDA approval for fatal forms of blood cancer, according to the campaign supporting the proposition.
The campaign reports CIRM-funded researchers have published 2,900 medical discoveries.
From Sacramento to San Francisco to LA to San Diego, these world eminent scientist leaders in this field came together and said we have to have this funding to go forward, Klein said. We cant attract and hold the best scientists in the world unless we can show them that the therapies they work on are going to actually be able to get to patients.
Supporters also argue that Proposition 71 was an economic boon for the Golden State. A 2019 study from the University of Southern California (commissioned by CIRM) estimates that the Institutes impact on Californias economy is $10.7 billion in gross output, $641.3 million in tax revenue and nearly 56,000 jobs created.
But Matsusaka, a USC economics professor who was not affiliated with that study, says hes doubtful that the $5.5 billion that Proposition 14 will inject into stem cell research will be the job-generator California needs now.
This is money thats channeling into research, into scientists, into highly skilled white collar workers who are very fully employed already, he said. If you were pouring money into restaurant workers or something like that I think there could be a stimulating effect because thats where theres a big pool of people who are unemployed right now. Its hard for me to see how pouring money into this could have a stimulating effect.
And he says pulling money out of other sectors to support this work could do harm to the states economy more broadly.
Conflicts of Interest
At several points during its 16-year history, CIRM has been criticized for conflicts of interest between its board and the researchers it supports.
An analysis from the California Stem Cell Report, which has been tracking the agency since its inception, found that Stanford University, UCLA and UC San Diego are the top recipients of CIRM funding, and they all have representatives on the CIRM board.
Far too many board members represent organizations that receive CIRM funding or benefit from that funding, wrote the National Academy of Medicine in a 2012 study of the agency. These competing personal and professional interests compromise the perceived independence of the ICOC (the CIRM governing board), introduce potential bias into the boards decision making, and threaten to undermine confidence in the board.
In 2014, a former CIRM president left his job and almost immediately took a high-paying position at an agency that receives research funding from the Institute. David Jensen with California Stem Cell Report has tracked several other conflict of interest issues within the organization.
He says Proposition 14 changes some legal definitions and increases the number of people on the board from 29 to 35, but does not do anything to ameliorate those problems.
If youve got the dean of the medical school at UC Davis sitting on that board, voting on programs that might benefit his or her institution, legally or not thats still a conflict of interest, he said.
The agency has historically argued that the relationships between its board members and the scientists it supports are in line with its established conflict of interest policies.
After Proposition 14 was declared successful, the campaign supporting it called the measure one of the most important investments our state can make.
Over the past decade, California has made incredibly thoughtful and impactful investments in developing stem cell therapies and cures for diseases and conditions like diabetes, cancer, blindness, Parkinsons, paralysis and many more, wrote Robert and Danielle Klein, with the Californians for Stem Cell Research, Treatments and Cures campaign, in a statement. Now we know this progress and work to mitigate human suffering, restore health and improve the human condition will continue.
The measure will ultimately result in California taking on $7.8 billion dollars in debt, including interest.
Go here to read the rest:
- New Drug Could Improve Effectiveness of Stem Cell Therapy - Pain News Network - December 1st, 2020
- Hematologist/Stem Cell Biologist to Direct Hematology and Cellular Therapy at Cedars-Sinai - Newswise - December 1st, 2020
- Experimental stem cell gene therapy may give a new lease of life for patient with sickle cell disease - News-Medical.Net - December 1st, 2020
- Coronavirus Updates: The Latest Treatments and Vaccines - GovTech - December 1st, 2020
- Hematologist Discusses the Impact a Myeloma CAR T-Cell Approval Would Have on the Treatment Landscape - DocWire News - December 1st, 2020
- ONLINE: The UW Now - Isthmus - December 1st, 2020
- Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Harvesting CTCs - Technology Networks - December 1st, 2020
- Mustang Bio to Host Key Opinion Leader Call on MB-106 for the Treatment of Relapsed or Refractory B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma - GlobeNewswire - December 1st, 2020
- Celularity Announces Positive DMC Safety Review and Continuation of its Phase I/II CYNK-001-COVID-19 (CYNKCOVID) Study - PRNewswire - December 1st, 2020
- COVID-19 patients on some cancer therapies may be contagious for months: study - Reuters - December 1st, 2020
- Gain Therapeutics and University of Maryland School of Medicine Announce Research Collaboration - GlobeNewswire - December 1st, 2020
- Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited Acquires TheraPharm GmbH, Broadening Reach to Hematologic Cancers and Transplant Medicine - GlobeNewswire - November 30th, 2020
- Coronavirus treatments and vaccines. Here are the latest developments - San Francisco Chronicle - November 30th, 2020
- Stem Cell Assay Market Research Report: Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers with Forecast 2026 - Cheshire Media - November 30th, 2020
- Human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) Market Research Report 2020 with Manufacturing Process Analysis and Market Concentration Rate till 2026 - The Market... - November 30th, 2020
- Government of Canada and JDRF Canada announce new research funding to accelerate stem cell-based therapies for type 1 diabetes - Philippine Canadian... - November 30th, 2020
- California's stem cell research agency looks to the future - Bond Buyer - November 26th, 2020
- Scientists Reveal a New Drug That Directs Stem Cells To Desired Sites - Science Times - November 26th, 2020
- Growing Value of Stem Cells in Medicine to Create a US$2,4 Billion Opportunity for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell ((iPSC) - GlobeNewswire - November 26th, 2020
- Celularity Announces Dosing of First Patient in Phase I Study of Human Placental Hematopoietic Stem Cell-Derived Natural Killer Cells (CYNK-001) in... - November 26th, 2020
- Unexpected discovery about stem cell immortality study - News - The University of Sydney - November 26th, 2020
- 'The hope is that is works': Coliseum participates in clinical trial for COVID-19 recovery - wgxa.tv - November 26th, 2020
- Growing at an annualized rate of over 16.5%, the cell therapy manufacturing market is estimated to reach close to USD 11 Billion by 2030, claims Roots... - November 26th, 2020
- Global Cell Harvesting Market to Reach US$381,4 Million by the Year 2027 - PRNewswire - November 26th, 2020
- Novel CAR T-cell therapy shows promising early results in children with neuroblastoma - News-Medical.Net - November 26th, 2020
- Our turbulent debates on medicine and morals - The Irish Catholic - November 26th, 2020
- Impact of COVID 19 on Orthopedic Regenerative Medicine Market Detailed Research Study 2020-2027 | Curasan, Inc., Carmell Therapeutics Corporation,... - November 26th, 2020
- Novartis Invests in Stem Cell Therapy for Covid - BloombergQuint - November 20th, 2020
- Fred Hutch at ASH: Fauci fireside chat, latest on cell therapies, repairing immune function, COVID and clots and more - Newswise - November 20th, 2020
- Study reveals how smoking worsens SARS-CoV-2 infection in the airways - UCLA Newsroom - November 20th, 2020
- SEE | Smoking worsens Covid-19 infection in the airways, new study reveals - Health24 - November 20th, 2020
- In a First, Scientists Say They've Partially Reversed a Cellular Aging Process in Humans - ScienceAlert - November 20th, 2020
- ExCellThera to establish stem cell bioproduction facility creating up to 150 jobs thanks to Government of Canada support - Canada NewsWire - November 16th, 2020
- Stanford coach's quest to save his brother: 'God, I hope this works' - Scope - November 16th, 2020
- Athersys Announces Three Appointments to Board of Directors - Business Wire - November 16th, 2020
- Stem Cell Assay Market Will Generate Massive Revenue In Future: GE Healthcare, Promega Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Merck KGaA, Cell... - November 16th, 2020
- Meeting Agenda Focuses on Increased Applications of Cellular Therapies in Hematologic Cancers - Targeted Oncology - November 16th, 2020
- Leading Human Immunology and Infectious Disease Experts to Join UM School of Medicines Institute of Human Virology - Newswise - November 16th, 2020
- Stem cell therapy shows promise in treating COVID-19 - The Pharma Letter - November 11th, 2020
- FibroGenesis Announces the Filing of its 250th Patent for Fibroblast Cell Therapy Platform - PRNewswire - November 11th, 2020
- Angiocrine Bioscience Announces FDA Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) Designation Granted to AB-205 (Universal E-CEL Cell Therapy) to... - November 11th, 2020
- Global Live Cell Imaging Markets, 2020-2025 - Growing Adoption of High-Content Screening Techniques in Drug Discovery - Yahoo Finance UK - November 11th, 2020
- Protective protein could help keep blood young and healthy - New Atlas - November 10th, 2020
- Worldwide Regenerative Medicine Industry to 2025 - Featuring Allergan, Amgen and Baxter International Among Others - PRNewswire - November 10th, 2020
- Dr. Braunschweig on Selecting Between Transplant and CAR T-Cell Therapy in DLBCL - OncLive - November 8th, 2020
- Global Regenerative Medicine Market (2020 to 2025) - Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast - ResearchAndMarkets.com -... - November 8th, 2020
- Editas Medicine Announces Third Quarter 2020 Results and Update - GlobeNewswire - November 8th, 2020
- Using telehealth to boost treatment for substance-use disorder - American Medical Association - November 4th, 2020
- Stem Cell and Regenerative Therapy Market Monitoring Growth Opportunities 2024 - Aerospace Journal - November 4th, 2020
- Regenerative Medicine Stem Cells Market Forecast Revised in a New FMI Report as COVID-19 Projected to Hold a Massive Impact on Sales in 2019 - KYT24 - November 4th, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Assay Market Growth, Size, Analysis, Outlook by 2020 Trends, Opportunities and Forecast to 2025 - Zenit News - November 4th, 2020
- Asia Pacific Cartilage Degeneration Market Forecast to 2027 - COVID-19 Impact and Regional Analysis By Procedure Type ; Application ; and End User and... - November 4th, 2020
- Asia Pacific Amniotic Membrane Market Forecast to 2027 - COVID-19 Impact and Regional Analysis By Enzyme ; Application ; End User, and Country -... - November 4th, 2020
- Minaris Regenerative Medicine to Significantly Expand Manufacturing Capacity for Cell and Gene Therapies in Germany and Japan - b3c newswire - November 2nd, 2020
- What Are the Treatment Options When Lymphoma Returns? - SurvivorNet - November 2nd, 2020
- Cell Banking Outsourcing Market: High Demand for Stem Cell Therapies to Trigger Growth of the Market - BioSpace - November 2nd, 2020
- How pain changes your brain - News - The University of Sydney - November 2nd, 2020
- Optimal Health: Cutting Edge Restorative Treatments Cityview - Knoxville City View - November 2nd, 2020
- New screening tool could turn up genes tied to developmental disorders - STAT - October 31st, 2020
- Outlook on the Regenerative Medicine Global Market to 2025 - Impact of COVID-19 on the Market - GlobeNewswire - October 31st, 2020
- Opinion: Proposition 14 Could Save the Life of Someone You Love - Times of San Diego - October 31st, 2020
- "Training" the immune system with -glucan compound may improve immune recovery - News-Medical.Net - October 31st, 2020
- Angelika Amon, cell biologist who pioneered research on chromosome imbalance, dies at 53 - MIT News - October 31st, 2020
- Novartis expands Kymriah manufacturing footprint with first-ever approved site for commercial CAR-T cell therapy manufacturing in Asia - GlobeNewswire - October 31st, 2020
- Global Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) Market 2020 with COVID-19 After Effects Growth Drivers, Top Key Players, Industry Segments and Forecast... - October 29th, 2020
- Ways to cash in on regenerative medicine - The Australian Financial Review - October 29th, 2020
- We can't stand idly by: Vote 'yes' on Prop. 14 for stem cell research - The Jewish News of Northern California - October 29th, 2020
- Grant programs will provide $2.2 million to support biomedical research on healthy aging - News-Medical.Net - October 29th, 2020
- NK Cell Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy Market Insight | Strategic Industry Evolutionary Analysis Focus on Leading Key Players and Revenue Growth... - October 29th, 2020
- Baby Gets Early Stem Cell Transplant to Treat Rare Disease Thanks to Newborn Screening - University of Michigan Health System News - October 28th, 2020
- Exclusive: "Ending Disease" Documentary Explores How Stem Cell Therapy Aims to Cure the Incurable - Prevention.com - October 28th, 2020
- A New Piece Added to the Pituitary Gland Puzzle Revises Evolutionary History - Technology Networks - October 28th, 2020
- Proposition 14 Aims to Keep California at Worldwide Center of Stem Cell Research - Times of San Diego - October 18th, 2020
- Should California invest $5.5 billion more into promising stem cell research? - The Mercury News - October 14th, 2020
- Singapore invents digitized optimization of culture conditions for cell therapy - BSA bureau - October 14th, 2020
- Pluristem Announces Clearance to Move Forward with Enrollment for Cohort II in an Investigator-Led Phase I/II Chronic Graft vs Host Disease... - October 14th, 2020
- Marcus Neuroscience Institute names Khalid A. Hanafy, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director of Neurocritical Care and Research - Baptist Health South Florida - October 14th, 2020
- Fact check: Trump's antibody therapy not made from fetal stem cells but fetal-derived cells used during testing - USA TODAY - October 12th, 2020
- Brain organoids reveal neuronal flaws in syndrome tied to autism - Spectrum - October 12th, 2020
- BrainStorm to Present at the 2020 Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa - PRNewswire - October 12th, 2020