Recommendations To ICOC In First Round Of Major Facilities Grant Program Announced

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., December 14, 2007 The CIRM today announced that 12 California institutions have been recommended for the second round of consideration for its Major Facilities Grant Program. The program will fund the establishment of CIRM facilities in support of stem cell research programs that encompass a broad spectrum of research and development of therapies, diagnostics and technologies for the treatment of injury or disease.

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

One of the objectives of these grants is to encourage new research facilities investments to augment CIRM funds. Therefore, for all three types of facilities, the applicant institutions are required to provide a minimum of 20 percent cash in matching funds to further leverage the project.

Part One applications were reviewed by CIRMÂ’s Scientific and Medical Research Funding Working Group (Grants Working Group), a panel of scientific experts with diverse areas of expertise who are affiliated with institutions outside the state of California, and patient advocates representing perspectives from a spectrum of diseases.

The recommendations of the Grants Working Group will go to CIRMÂ’s governing board, the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC) for consideration at its January 17 meeting. Although the scientific scores and recommendations made by the Grants Working Group carry great weight, they are not binding on the ICOC.

Applicants who are successful in Part One of the review will be invited by the ICOC to apply for funding in Part Two for a CIRM Institute, a CIRM Center of Excellence, or a CIRM Special Project. Part Two of the review will evaluate the technical aspects of an applicant’s building program, how the scientific program aligns with the CIRM’s objectives, and why the program represents a good value for California taxpayersÂ’ investment. The Part Two review will begin with 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 deadline for submission of Part Two applications will be determined and announced in January 2008. The ICOC is expected to review the recommendations of the Facilities Working Group and approve the CIRM Major Facilities Grants in April 2008.

A joint statement from Richard Murphy, Interim President of CIRM, and Robert Klein, Chairman of the ICOC states, “These are particularly complex applications that require significant planning and investment on the part of the applicant institutions. We wanted to announce the names of the institutions that the Grants Working Group recommends to the ICOC even before we released to the institutions their scientific reviews to provide some additional time for the institutions to continue their strategic planning and related efforts. In addition, we wanted the institutions to be able to benefit from year-end giving by donors who are interested in helping the institutions increase their project leverage.”

The Grants Working Group has recommended to the ICOC that the following institutions (listed in alphabetical order) be invited to submit proposals in the following categories for Part Two 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


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

Ellen Rose
415/396 9117