CIRM, which stands for the “California Institute for Regenerative Medicine”, has funded a huge array of stem cell and other research projects. The CIRM of today and the future primarily supports clinical trial efforts aimed at finding new treatments and even cures for many serious illnesses. These efforts now even include COVID-19 research.
At this point the California Stem Cell Agency has largely used up its original slate of funding from state voters so it needs an influx of new funding via a new California ballot initiative.
David Jensen over at the California Stem Cell Report has been following the efforts of the backers of more funding for CIRM in collecting the signatures needed to get on the November ballot. Initiative backers have set various self-imposed, but non-binding deadlines.
They still need more signatures. Please consider taking the few minutes needed to sign in support of CIRM! We did this as a family a few days ago and it was a quick process.
Here are some of the key details and obstacles (such as the coronavirus pandemic) that Jensen detailed in his newest post:
“The campaign’s ballot initiative is aimed at staving off the financial demise of California’s stem cell agency, which has all but run out of the $3 billion that it was provided by voters in 2004, also through a ballot initiative. Known formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the agency has no other significant funding source than state-issued bonds.
The coronavirus crisis has blocked the usual method of gathering of ballot initiative signatures at shopping malls and other public locations. The campaign said earlier it needed another 35,000 signatures to hit its goal of 950,000. The legal requirement is only 623,212 but many signatures are disqualified as invalid, sometimes as high as 50 percent.
Another obstacle involves officials in the state’s 58 counties, who must certify the signatures. Most, if not all, are short-staffed because of the coronavirus and/or must provide a working environment that is likely to slow the signature count. If the count is not completed by June 15, the stem cell measure will not be on the November ballot and the agency will begin closing its doors.”
Please help fund CIRM for the future as it has great momentum on dozens of clinical trials.