SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), will meet on Tuesday, October 10, and Wednesday, October 11, 2006 in Los Angeles.

WHO:        The 29-member Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC) is the governing board for CIRM.

WHAT:      The ICOC special meeting on October 10 will be devoted to a presentation and discussion of the draft Scientific Strategic Plan. The plan identifies the long-term objectives CIRM will pursue over the next 10 years. It proposes funding a series of 25 initiatives intended to advance stem cell research in California, including $822.8 million to develop and enhance fundamental knowledge of stem cell biology, $898.9 million for pre-clinical research and development, and $656.0 million for clinical trials and related research, as well as $272.7 million for the renovation and construction of new laboratories and research facilities. The plan also defines five- and ten-year goals the Institute will use to measure its progress.

CIRM is proposing a variety of funding mechanisms to meet its objectives, including two with novel structures that call for interdisciplinary teams, under active management, to achieve specific goals. The teams may include members from multiple institutions, and from non-profit and commercial research institutions.

The plan includes an extensive discussion of the lengthy timeline required to bring new potential therapies forward to clinical applications. At the end of 10 years, CIRM expects therapies for several diseases to advance to early stage clinical trials, with additional therapies for other diseases ready for clinical development.

Work on the plan began a year ago, when CIRM sponsored an international scientific conference, Stem Cell Research: Charting New Directions for California. The plan was drafted by CIRM’s staff with assistance from PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and draws on three additional scientific conferences, individual interviews and focus group discussions involving nearly 200 scientific experts and patient advocates. There has been strong public participation throughout the process, which is expected to continue as the plan is modified and moves toward completion. The current schedule calls for the ICOC to adopt the plan on December 7, 2006.

The following day, the ICOC regular agenda includes discussion of and possible action on a number of important proposals, including:

  • Interim procedures and criteria for evaluating grant applications for shared space laboratories, as recommended by CIRM’s facilities working group.
  • Appointment of alternates to the CIRM Grants Working Group and per diem compensation for expert specialists.
  • A report from the CIRM Intellectual Property Task Force that is developing policies for for-profit organizations that may receive CIRM grants.

WHEN:      Tuesday, October 10, 2006
                   5:30 – 9:30 p.m. (Estimated)

                   Wednesday, October 11, 2006 
                   9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Estimated)

WHERE:   Tuesday, October 10
                   Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard
                   11461 Sunset Boulevard
                   Los Angeles, CA 90049

                   Wednesday, October 11
                   Grand Horizon Room
                   3rd Floor, Covel Commons, Sunset Village
                   330 De Neve Drive
                   Los Angeles, California 90024

WHY:         The Stem Cell Research and Cures Act (Proposition 71) requires the ICOC to develop and adopt a strategic plan to define the long-term objectives of the Institute and a funding program to achieve those objectives. The Act authorizes the ICOC and CIRM to make $3 billion available to support stem cell research in the state. This past April, $12.1 million was awarded to 16 California non-profit institutions to train 169 stem cell researchers. CIRM is currently soliciting applications for more than $100 million in stem cell research grants. The Institute is preparing to solicit applications and award its first grants for research facilities, which are expected to be funded in early 2007.

Contact: Dale A Carlson