LOS ANGELES, CA — The California Institute for
Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) today voted to redirect $5 million to support
projects dedicated to combatting the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Nearly two decades ago, California made a critical investment in stem cell
research that propelled this state to the forefront of regenerative medical
discovery and set the stage for the opportunity this new funding holds – mitigating
the disease and the risk of the loss of life from the Coronavirus currently
impacting the lives of not only every Californian, but the lives of every human
across the globe.
To be eligible for CIRM’s dedicated
funding to fight COVID-19, grant applicants must be ready to initiate work
within 30 days of approval and must propose plans to achieve clear deliverables
that demonstrate progress within six months.
“The investment by California’s stem
cell institute to combat COVID-19 highlights the remarkable potential of this
research and therapy development to impact the lives of every Californian. Renewing
funding for stem cell research and therapy development has already been proven
to lead to medical discoveries that improve or save the lives of California’s
children and families.” said Robert Klein II, Chairman of Californians for
Stem Cell Research, Treatments and Cures. “In a time with so much
uncertainty and fear in the unknown, medical science has the power to give us realistic
hope and a real path forward to restoring health for numerous areas of chronic
disease and injury. We urge Californians to think back on this moment, when they
decide the fate of future life-saving stem cell discoveries and treatments come
In 2004, voters
overwhelmingly approved Proposition 71, establishing CIRM and authorizing a $3
billion investment in stem cell research to advance therapies and treatments
for diseases and injuries including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s,
Parkinson’s, diabetes and now, COVID-19. But this vital research and therapy
development will soon end, unless California voters pass the California Stem
Cell Research, Treatments and Cures Initiative of 2020, when they go to the
ballot in November. A yes vote in November will renew this vital funding and
forge a path to future discoveries and cures.
If passed, the California Stem Cell
Research, Treatments and Cures Initiative of 2020 would authorize $5.5 billion
in state general obligation bonds to continue funding stem cell research and
the development and delivery of treatments and cures, as well as expand access
to and affordability of therapies. During the first five years after approval,
the State of California would not be required to make any payment from the
general fund for these bonds.
CIRM-funded discoveries have already
saved and improved lives, and hold the potential to help millions more who are living
with diseases and conditions beyond COVID-19, including spinal cord injuries, leukemia,
blindness, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, kidney disease and more:
A high school student who was paralyzed, regained function in his upper body and went on to college. More than 95% of patients in this trial showed motor improvements.
A mother who went blind from a genetic disease continues to experience improved peripheral vision.
Two FDA-approved treatments have been developed for fatal blood cancers.
More than 50 babies who were born without functioning immune systems have been cured of the once-fatal “bubble baby” disease.
To correct a fatal fetal condition, researchers safely transplanted a mother’s stem cells into her growing fetus during pregnancy, leading to the birth of a normal infant.
To learn more about the life-changing research funded by CIRM visit caforcures.com. This press release is produced by the Campaign Committee of the California Stem Cell Research, Treatment, and Cures Initiative; it is not a statement from any California agency, department or representative.