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:
- Stem cell therapy for COVID-19 and ARDS - News-Medical.Net - May 7th, 2021
- Experimental COVID-19 lung treatment being tested at Ontario hospitals - CityNews Toronto - May 7th, 2021
- EP. 4: Optimizing Patient Selection for CAR T-Cell Therapy - OncLive - May 7th, 2021
- Could stem cells improve the outcome of ARDS in severe COVID-19? - News-Medical.Net - May 7th, 2021
- Motixafortide Reaches Primary End Point of Improved Stem Cell Mobilization in Multiple Myeloma Trial - Cancer Network - May 7th, 2021
- Restricting the Growth and Spread of Head and Neck Cancers - Technology Networks - May 7th, 2021
- The global stem cell therapy market is projected to reach USD 401 million by 2026 from - GlobeNewswire - May 7th, 2021
- UCLA team discovers how to restrict growth, spread of head and neck cancers | UCLA - UCLA Newsroom - May 7th, 2021
- NUS scientists found a key element that affects how genes are expressed in blood stem cells - Newswise - May 7th, 2021
- Citius Pharmaceuticals to Present Mino-Lok and COVID-related Respiratory Treatment Update at Benzinga Global Small Cap Conference on Thursday, May 13... - May 7th, 2021
- Mesoblast says its stem cell treatment saved lives of severely ill COVID patients - Stockhead - May 2nd, 2021
- Antiviral T cells safe, effective as off-the-shelf therapy for painful complication after stem cell transplants - News-Medical.Net - May 2nd, 2021
- Antiviral T cells protected, viable as off-the-shelf treatment for painful complication stem cells - Microbioz India - May 2nd, 2021
- Desperate family of boy, 9, with leukaemia have 10 days to save his life... - The Sun - May 2nd, 2021
- Orchard Therapeutics Announces Multiple Presentations at the 24th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy - GlobeNewswire - May 2nd, 2021
- Investigating CAR T-Cell Therapy for Use in Different Disease Types - Targeted Oncology - May 2nd, 2021
- Enhanced inhibition of tumor growth using TRAIL-overexpressing adipose-derived stem cells in combination with the chemotherapeutic agent CPT-11 in... - May 2nd, 2021
- Thomas Smeenk on Hemostemix's autologous stem cell therapy technology and why some call it 'the fountain of youth' - InvestorIntel - April 28th, 2021
- Monitoring levels of vimentin-positive circulating cancer stem cells and tumor cells in patients with advanced EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer... - April 28th, 2021
- Fate Therapeutics Announces Four Presentations at the 2021 ASGCT Annual Meeting - GlobeNewswire - April 28th, 2021
- Therapeutic Solutions International Reports Regression of Established Tumors by Combining its Cancer Blood Vessel Targeting Immunotherapy with Low... - April 28th, 2021
- A review of baculovirus vectors in gene therapy | BTT - Dove Medical Press - April 28th, 2021
- Stem Cell Therapy for COPD: Hope and Exploitation - DocWire News - April 26th, 2021
- Axion BioSystems Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board - Business Wire - April 26th, 2021
- Global Cell Therapy Market By Therapy Type, By Therapeutic Area, By End User, By Cell Type, By Regional Outlook, Industry Analysis Report and... - April 24th, 2021
- Pure Red Cell Aplasia following ABO-Mismatched Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Resolution with Daratumumab Treatment - DocWire... - April 24th, 2021
- Advancing the Development of Safe and Effective Regenerative Medicine Products | FDA - FDA.gov - April 24th, 2021
- New method helps map the specialized diversity and spatial location of cells within a tissue or tumor - News-Medical.Net - April 24th, 2021
- Chimeric embryo may have medical implications The Campus - The Campus - April 24th, 2021
- Survival and treatment patterns of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in France - a cohort study using the French National... - April 24th, 2021
- Guenther Koehne, MD, Highlights Recent Advancements in the Treatment of Blood Cancers - Oncology Learning Network - April 24th, 2021
- Rinri Therapeutics raises 10 million to advance stem cell therapy for hearing loss - The Star - April 24th, 2021
- Cancer Diagnosis in Patient Given LentiGlobin Revised to Severe Anemia - Sickle Cell Anemia News - April 24th, 2021
- Hodgkin lymphoma: Symptoms, outlook, treatment, and more - Medical News Today - April 24th, 2021
- Tissue Repair, Mitochondrial Function and Wound Healing Explored in 2021 APS Presidents Symposium - Newswise - April 24th, 2021
- Axion BioSystems Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board - BioSpace - April 20th, 2021
- Avalon GloboCare is seeking to tap the power of cells to fight cancer and coronavirus - Proactive Investors USA - April 20th, 2021
- Rinri Therapeutics Raises 10 million from Existing Investors and UK Future Fund to Advance its Novel Stem Cell Therapy to Restore Hearing Loss -... - April 20th, 2021
- Global Regenerative Medicines Market 2020-2030: Opportunities in Drug Approvals and Strong Pipeline of Cell and Gene Therapies & Multiple... - April 20th, 2021
- FDA Grants Orphan Drug Status to Novel IRAK4 Inhibitor in AML and MDS - Targeted Oncology - April 20th, 2021
- Vertex Drops $900 Million to Expand Partnership with CRISPR Therapeutics - BioSpace - April 20th, 2021
- Kaleido Biosciences Announces Collaboration with Robert Jenq, MD, to Explore Potential of its Microbiome Metabolic Therapies (MMT) in Preventing... - April 20th, 2021
- Partner Content | Being bionic: the future of regenerative medicine - TheSpec.com - April 14th, 2021
- Ohio State Recruits Top Oncologist to Expand Cell Therapy Program, Lead Bone Marrow Transplant Services - Wexner Medical Center - The Ohio State... - April 14th, 2021
- Leukemia Cutis: Symptoms and Treatment - Healthline - April 14th, 2021
- Green: Variants and outbreaks continue to put stress on hospitals - Vermont Biz - April 14th, 2021
- CRISPR Therapies Pipeline Insights 2021: Analysis of Key Companies, Emerging Therapies, Recent Happenings and Futuristic Trends - GlobeNewswire - April 14th, 2021
- Consortium to investigate role of neurofilament light chain in neurodegenerative diseases Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis -... - April 14th, 2021
- Man's heart healed by stem cell therapy and love of an old flame - Leeds Live - April 12th, 2021
- New pediatric cancer treatment method being used in Iran - Tehran Times - April 12th, 2021
- Personalized Cancer Vaccine Shows Early Efficacy in Patients With Diverse Tumor Types - Technology Networks - April 12th, 2021
- 1000th Stem Cell Transplant Given to Girl Who Is One in a Million - Stanford Children's Health Blog - Stanford Children's Health - April 10th, 2021
- Home : Stem Cell Treatments - April 10th, 2021
- Researchers discover unique regenerative property of cells in the early human embryo - News-Medical.net - April 10th, 2021
- Study reveals sex-differences in aging of the brain stem cell niche - News-Medical.net - April 10th, 2021
- Antibiotics need further study in cancer treatments - Chicago Daily Herald - April 10th, 2021
- Prolonged infection and inflammation drain immune responses as we age - Baylor College of Medicine News - April 10th, 2021
- Toward a transformative therapy for sickle cell patients - News-Medical.Net - April 10th, 2021
- Mass. Residents 55+ Or With 1 Medical Condition Can Now Get COVID Vaccine | WBZ NewsRadio 1030 - iHeartRadio - April 6th, 2021
- Mortality from Multiple Myeloma Within One Year Following Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation: Defining an Ultra-high Risk Population - DocWire News - April 6th, 2021
- BioRestorative Therapies Announces Appointment of Nickolay V. Kukekov, Ph.D to its Board of Directors - BioSpace - April 6th, 2021
- LGL Leukemia: Overview, Symptoms, and Treatment - Healthline - April 3rd, 2021
- Novel T-Cell Therapy MT-401 Under Evaluation in Post-Transplant AML - OncLive - April 3rd, 2021
- Funding the Next Generation of Cancer Therapies - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News - April 3rd, 2021
- Do Therapies for Alzheimer's & Parkinson's that Clear Abnormal Brain Proteins Make the Diseases Worse? - BioSpace - April 3rd, 2021
- Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for therapy-related myeloid neoplasms following treatment of a lymphoid malignancy - DocWire News - April 1st, 2021
- Insulin 100: How the road to a diabetes cure is yielding better treatments - News@UofT - April 1st, 2021
- The Government's Watchful Eye on Fraud Stemming from Stem Cell Therapy - Lexology - April 1st, 2021
- Introducing a neuro regenerative gene into mice with spinal cord injury improves motor function - News-Medical.net - April 1st, 2021
- Gracell Biotechnologies Announces Enrollment of First Patient in Registrational Phase 1/2 Clinical Study for GC007g, an Allogeneic CAR-T Cell Therapy... - April 1st, 2021
- Russell Health Highlighted in the Silicon Review's '50 Leading Companies of the Year 2021' - PRNewswire - April 1st, 2021
- The Impact of CAR-T Cell Therapy in Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma - Targeted Oncology - April 1st, 2021
- Third-Line CAR T-Cell Therapy Improves Outcomes in B-Cell Lymphomas - OncLive - April 1st, 2021
- The Recovery Room: News beyond the pandemic April 2 - Medical News Today - April 1st, 2021
- Actor Kirron Kher diagnosed with blood cancer: Know the symptoms, treatment options of multiple myeloma - Times Now - April 1st, 2021
- Transplant After CD19 CAR T-Cell Therapy Shows Durable Disease Control in Children, Young Adults With B-ALL - Cancer Network - March 30th, 2021
- First CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma: Abecma - Medscape - March 30th, 2021
- Leukemia in Children: Types and Treatment - Healthline - March 30th, 2021
- Zombie Genes and the Brain; Concussion Spit Test; Your Brain on Puppies - MedPage Today - March 30th, 2021
- Asymmetrex Describes How New Technologies for Quantifying Stem Cell Dosage Will Improve the Effectiveness of the Stem Cell Clinical Trial Supply Chain... - March 29th, 2021