Friday, June 8, 2012

Developing stem cell therapies and spurring economic growth: CIRM's 2012 strategic plan

Any business or organizational expert will tell you that the key to success in any enterprise is planning. Without a plan that lays out what you want to do and how you want to do it, you are unlikely to achieve your goals. Given the importance of our goal—finding new disease therapies—it’s especially important that we have a good plan.

That’s why we’ve just released our revised Strategic Plan (you can find it on our website here), a kind of blueprint, if you will, for the next phase of our work. It lays out in very simple terms what we have achieved so far and where we want to go. That list of goals includes:
  • Fund at least 10 therapies in early phase clinical trials that impact at least five diseases
  • Attract the best scientists in the world to join us in creating discoveries that will shape biology and medicine for the future
  • Create partnerships with industry, and leverage our dollars to speed up the development of therapies to be tested in people
  • Create specialized stem cell clinics in California that can carry out clinical trials and deliver new therapies to patients
  • Fund Centers of Excellence in stem cell genetics to take advantage of rapid developments in genetics and health
  • Develop a strong support network with the Californian patient advocate community to keep them informed about clinical trials and the scientific progress being made
  • Work closely with state and local governments to attract new research and biotech companies to California
  • Promote our Bridges Training and Creativity programs to offer opportunities to students representing the diversity of California’s population who are hoping to pursue a career in science and research
  • Work with companies to ensure that financial benefits from CIRM-funded discoveries go to the state’s General Fund
The new plan is shaped by two main objectives; developing therapies that will deliver not just health but also economic benefits to the people of California; and the desire to make California’s investment sustainable.

The field of stem cell research has changed in some dramatic ways since CIRM was created by Proposition 71 in 2004. We have to adapt to those changes, and plan for an ever-changing landscape if we are going to use our resources—taxpayer dollars—as effectively as possible.

Proposition 71 placed California at the center of stem cell research not just in the U.S. but worldwide. This Strategic Plan aims to keep us there. And while the plan introduces some new elements, our goals remain the same; to accelerate the research and development of therapies to improve the lives of patients.



  1. There are two different ways to store stem cells: in "full liquid" (that means that the tank is full of liquid nitrogen and -190º Celsius) or in "vapor" (that means that the specimens are not in the liquid, but rather in the vapor from the liquid, stored at -130º Celsius). There are pros and cons to each storage method, but the industry standard is changing to vapor.

    Although temperature maintenance used to be better in full liquid, new storage tanks have been significantly improved and now vapor tanks are able to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the tanks.

    The New York Blood Center, which stores stem cells from the placent and umbilical cord blood for Americord's CordAdvantage product, has begun storing specimens in vapor as we are now confident of temperature control using this method. Our tank's temperature is monitored electronically with readings every hour and we have back-up alarm systems should the temperature be compromised in any way.

  2. Hello,

    Stem cells will become the body’s therapeutic miracle workers, regenerating tissues and organs damaged by disease, trauma or aging. I like your site it is very informative. Thanks a lot for creating this type of valuable site...