SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., February 28, 2008 The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) announced today that its Major Facilities Grants program is expected to generate approximately $750 million in potential investment commitments for new stem cell research facilities throughout the State of California. Following a Facilities Working Group recommendation and Board approval in May, the CIRM Major Facilities Grants will provide up to $262 million in funding for the projects with an additional $495 million in funding commitments offered from the applicant institutions and private donors. Proposition 71 requires applicant institutions to provide a minimum of 20 percent of their grant in matching funds. California’s non-profit research institutions have far exceeded this minimum.
Investment in research 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 Californias global leadership in stem cell research. The CIRM Major Facilities Grants will fund the establishment of stem cell research facilities that encompass a broad spectrum of research and development, working toward therapies, diagnostics and technologies for the treatment of injury or disease. This is the single largest grant program that CIRM will undertake and one of the largest research facility construction investments that targets a specific avenue of research
Robert N. Klein, chairman of the governing board of the CIRM stated, “The response to Proposition 71 from California’s leading research universities, institutions, and hospitals has been remarkable. With the matching fund commitments of the applicant organizations, the ICOC can approve a research infrastructure building program that historically exceeds any prior state government research facilities program for a new field of medical science anywhere in the U.S. Because of the extraordinary matching funds proposed by California’s leading research institutions, this unprecedented building program can be made possible with less than 10% of the grant funds available under Proposition 71 (applying $262 million of the $3 billion program). With help from private donors, the impact of Proposition 71 funds will be greatly leveraged; we hope to be able to exceed our goal of delivering two dollars in research facility investment for every one dollar of State funding from the CIRM. This major research facility construction project provides a tremendous economic stimulus to communities throughout California with a positive impact on the 2008 State budget.”
“California is again leading the way with unique projects to advance stem cell research that can not be conducted with Federal funding,” stated Alan Trounson, president of the CIRM. “The research facilities established by the CIRM Major Facility Grants will provide a safe haven from federal government restrictions for stem cell scientists to conduct research that will lead to therapies and cures for millions of patients who suffer from chronic disease and injury. These grants are an important part of the CIRM’s goal of making California an ideal environment for all avenues of stem cell science to flourish.”
The Major Facilities Grant program was launched in August 2007 as a two-part application process. In the fall, CIRM’s Scientific and Medical Research Grants Working Group evaluated the scientific merit of 17 proposals submitted in response to the request for application. On January 16, 2008 the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), the CIRM’s governing board, approved Part 1 of the applications, inviting 12 institutions to advance to the second and final part of the application process. Part 2 of the application focuses on the technical aspects of an applicants building program. How the scientific program aligns with the CIRM’s objectives, and why the program represents a good value for California taxpayers’ investment will be reviewed on April 4 and 5 by the 10-member Scientific and Medical Research Facilities Working Group (Facilities Working Group) made up of real estate experts, patient advocates and the chairman of the ICOC. This meeting is open to the public.
The ICOC is tentatively scheduled to review the recommendations of the Facilities Working Group and approve the CIRM Major Facilities Grants at the May 6-7 ICOC meeting.
Since April 2006 when the CIRM awarded its first scientific grants under the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, the Institute has funded 156 grants totaling nearly $260 million for investigator-initiated research grants and training to 22 California non-profit and academic institutions. The first grants directed $37.5 million for training 169 pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and clinical fellows at 16 non-profit and academic research institutions. In 2007 the ICOC approved 73 Leon J. Thal SEED Grants totaling more than $46 million to bring new ideas and new investigators into the field of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research; 28 Comprehensive Research Grants totaling nearly $72 million to support mature, ongoing studies on hESCs by scientists with a record of accomplishment in the field; 17 Shared Research Laboratory Grants totaling more than $50 million; and 22 New Faculty Awards of more than $54 million to encourage the next generation of clinical and scientific leaders in stem cell research.
The table below details the amount of funding each applicant institution has requested in CIRM funding and how much they will contribute to the project in matching and leverage funds:
* Consortium Members: Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Scripps Research Institute, The Salk Institute for
Biological Studies, University of California, San Diego
Major Facilities Grants
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 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.
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 and facility grants totaling more than $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|