12 California Institutions to Advance in Application Process for CIRM Major Facilities Grants

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., January 16, 2008 The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) today announced that the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC) approved the Part 1 Major Facility Grants applications from 12 California institutions, advancing these institutions to the second and final part of the application process. The Major Facilities Grants will fund the establishment of facilities in support of stem cell research that encompass a broad spectrum of research and development of therapies, diagnostics and technologies for the treatment of injury or disease.

  The grants will provide up to $262 million, making it the single largest grant program that CIRM will undertake. Institutions that receive a grant will be required to provide a minimum of 20 percent of their grant in matching funds to further leverage the project. It is expected that the states non-profit research institutions will far exceed this 20 percent leverage in the competition for Proposition 71 funds.

  Robert N. Klein, chairman of the governing board of the CIRM stated, “Investment in facilities to extend California’s state-of-the art research capacity is a critical part of CIRM’s Scientific Strategic Plan to sustain and build California’s global leadership in stem cell research. Through the Major Facilities Grants we are leveraging the impact of Proposition 71 funds with contributions from donors and non-profit research institutions. Our goal is to exceed $550,000,000 in research facility investments that will advance critical stem cell research. Achieving this goal would mean that every one dollar of State funding from Proposition 71 would deliver two dollars in research facility investment.”

  “The facility investments CIRM will make through these grants will continue to propel California as a leader in stem cell research”, stated Alan O. Trounson, Ph.D., the newly appointed president of CIRM. “Providing the necessary infrastructure for research is a critical step in laying the foundation for eventual therapies and cures.”

  The institutions approved in the Part 1 review of the Major Facilities Grants are now eligible to submit Part 2 of the application. Part 2 will evaluate the technical aspects of an applicant’s building program, how the scientific program aligns with the CIRMs objectives, and why the program represents a good value for California taxpayers investment. Review of Part 2 will consist of consideration by the Scientific and Medical Research Facilities Working Group (Facilities Working Group), a second review panel made up of real estate experts and patient advocates. The ICOC is expected to review the recommendations of the Facilities Working Group and approve funding for the CIRM Major Facilities Grants in April 2008.

  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.

  – 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 seek 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 range from $25 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 range from $10 to 25 million.

CIRM Special Programto conduct specialized stem cell projects in one of the categories listed above. CIRM funding for these project will range from $5 to $10 million.

The ICOC has assigned preliminary funding allocations to each group of CIRM facilities. These allocations are subject to change based on the Facilities Working Group recommendations and final board review. $214.9 million has been assigned to fund CIRM Institutes, $28.7 to fund CIRM Centers of Excellence and $18.4 in the category of CIRM Special Programs.

The ICOC has approved the Part 1 applications of the following institutions which are now invited to submit proposals in the following categories for Part 2 of the Major Facilities Grant Program:
Application Number Institution Facilities Category
FA1-00600-1 Buck Institute for Age Research CIRM Center of Excellence
FA1-00607-1 San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine* CIRM Institute
FA1-00609-1 Stanford University CIRM Institute
FA1-00610-1 University of California, Berkeley CIRM Center of Excellence
FA1-00611-1 University of California, Davis CIRM Institute
FA1-00612-1 University of California, Irvine CIRM Institute
FA1-00613-1 University of California, Los Angeles CIRM Institute
FA1-00614-1 University of California, Merced CIRM Special Program
FA1-00616-1 University of California, Santa Barbara CIRM Special Program
FA1-00617-1 University of California, Santa Cruz CIRM Special Program
FA1-00618-1 University of California, San Francisco CIRM Institute
FA1-00619-1 University of Southern California CIRM Institute

  * Consortium Members: Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Scripps Research Institute, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, University of California, San Diego

CIRM may vote to advance additional recommended facilities at the continuation of the ICOC meeting on January 17, 2008. If recommended, those additional facilities applications would also be eligible to proceed to Part 2 with those listed above.

About CIRM CIRM was established in 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 156 research grants totaling almost $260 million, making CIRM the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world. For more information, please visit www.cirm.ca.gov.


Contact: Ellen Rose  
               415 396 9117