The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is projected to run out of funds in 2019, prompting NPR to ask whether states will continue fund stem cell research.
In 2004, California voters passed Proposition 71 in 59 percent to 41 percent vote to create CIRM, and now as the agency is low on funds, stem cell research advocates plan to ask voters for a further $5 billion, NPR adds. But, the University of California, Los Angeles' Zev Yaroslavsky tells it that voters want to know what they've gotten from their first investment.
According to NPR, most proponents point to the use of blood stem cells to treat Evangelina Padilla-Vaccaro and other children with severe combined immunodeficiency, but it notes that a clinical trial for SCID is in phase 2 and that CIRM only has two phase 3 trials. It adds that the push in 2004 to approve funds may have oversold what could be accomplished.
NPR adds that opposition to new funding for CIRM will likely arise on religious grounds, but also within the biomedical community. The University of California, San Francisco's Barbara Koenig tells it that she has concerns regarding conflicts of interest at CIRM as well as whether any treatments coming from the agency would benefit the general public.