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CIRM Funds Dwindle

California's stem cell research agency may soon run out of funding, ScienceInsider reports.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was established in 2004 following the passage of Proposition 71 and first began awarding grants in 2006. But as ScienceInsider reports, CIRM has announced that it has no more funding to award to new projects. At the end of June, the agency suspended application submissions until further notice, according to a note on its site.

"[T]here is no money available for new projects, whether it's discovery, translational, or clinical," CIRM's Kevin McCormack writes in a blog post.

ScienceInsider notes that the agency has sought bridge funding from private sources, though that has not been successful. There is also a push to again put stem cell research funding on the ballot in California with a $5.5 billion bond initiative, but ScienceInsider says its passage is not certain.

CIRM made California the "center of the stem cell universe. It would be tragic to unravel [that infrastructure] now," Jeanne Loring, who recently retired from the Scripps Research Institute and runs a biotech startup, tells it. "But the funding in 2004 was so dependent on the politics and interest at the time, and I don't know if those circumstances can be replicated."