All 12 CIRM Major Facility Projects Moving Forward, Creating Jobs Today And Hope for Cures Tomorrow

San Francisco, Calif., January 15 – The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine review panel that in April 2008 recommended providing over $270 million to construct 12 major stem cell research facilities in California met today to review the status of these projects and found that all were moving forward, with 11 having construction well underway.

Eight of those are on target to begin moving in lab equipment on schedule between March and July this year. The other three were delayed approximately a year due to financing issues caused by the recession but should begin move-in between April and November next year.

The remaining project, at the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, is expected to finalize its CIRM contract and begin construction by March 31. That will put it on track to completion by March 2012.

The review panel’s original scoring of the project proposals gave extra weight to projects that brought forward matching money to leverage the state commitment. Through private donors and institutional resources, these 12 proposals committed an additional $543 million in construction funds bringing the total to more than $831 million for 800,000 square feet of new state-of-the-art stem cell facilities in the state. The institutions also committed another $328 million for equipment and faculty recruitments to fill the facilities bringing the total economic impact of the projects to $1.16 billion.

An independent review of the impact of this investment for the state economy last year by The Analysis Group suggested that the projects would create 13,000 job years of employment and $100 million in tax revenue between 2008 and 2011. Although some of these revenues may be delayed as a result of project delays, these construction projects, together with CIRM’s ongoing research initiatives, will generate more than enough tax revenue to cover the cost of interest on CIRM’s bond financing in the coming years. Prior to 2010, CIRM’s bonds were forward capitalized and the agency paid its own interest, so during its first five years CIRM had no cost impact on the state’s general fund. It should continue to have a net benefit to the general fund this year.

“This prop 71 stem cell research facilities program is one of the largest building programs in U.S. history ever dedicated to a new field of medical science; it will deliver an impact that will be felt world wide in the advancement of stem cell therapies,” said Robert N. Klein, chairman of the governing board of the agency. “The 13,000 job years and the $100 million in new tax revenue generated by these Prop 71 construction projects are extremely valuable contributions to the California economy.”

“I am pleased that in an extremely difficult economy, particularly in the construction industry, these projects have been able to progress so substantially providing jobs to a distressed industry while molding hope for new therapies for patients,” said David Lichtenger, Chair of the CIRM Facilities Working Group and President and CEO of Integrated Facilities Solutions in Palo Alto.

The objectives of the CIRM Major Facilities Grant Program are:

  • Funding new facilities – and encouraging investments by others in new facilities – that are free of any federal funding so as to allow research and development of therapies based on human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and other stem cell approaches to proceed in California without restrictions imposed by the federal government. (Despite President Obama’s March decision to lift the ban on federal funding for research on any existing embryonic cell line, restrictions remain preventing the creation of any new cell lines with federal money.)
  • Developing stem cell research centers that will expand research capacity and capabilities in California while bringing stem cell-related researchers together in a collaborative setting.
  • Funding new facilities and improvements where research institutions have determined that existing facilities are inadequate or are lacking altogether and thus pose a challenge to the development of therapies and cures for diseases being addressed at these institutions.

The applications sought funding to establish one of three types of CIRM facilities:

CIRM Institutes to carry out stem cell research in three categories: basic and discovery stem cell research, preclinical (translational) research, and preclinical development and clinical research. CIRM funding for these projects will be up to $50 million.

CIRM Centers of Excellence to conduct stem cell research in any two of the three categories listed above. CIRM funding for these project will be up to $25 million.

CIRM Special Program to conduct specialized stem cell projects in one of the categories listed above. CIRM funding for these project will be up to $10 million.

Institution CIRM Funding Project Total Move-In Date
CIRM Institutes
Stanford University $43.6 million $225.5 million July 2010
Sanford Consortium in San Diego $43 million $163 million June 2011
UC San Francisco $34.9 million $135.4 million June 2010
UC Irvine $27.2 million $81.9 million July 2010
University of Southern California $27 million $142.6 million July 2010
UC Davis $20.1 million $98.9 million May 2010
UC Los Angeles $19.9 million $81.8 million May 2010
CIRM Centers of Excellence
Buck Institute $20.5 million $91.7 million March 2012
UC Berkeley $20.2 million $92.6 million June 2010
CIRM Special Programs
UC Santa Cruz $7.2 million $26.3 million November 2011
UC Merced $4.4 million $8.3 million September 2011
UC Santa Barbara $3.2 million $14.1 million March 2010

About CIRM CIRM was established in November, 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. To date, the CIRM governing board has approved 328 research and facility grants totaling more than $1.02 billion, making CIRM the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world.