Stem cell technology works, said Kevin McCormack, the communications director at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). He made a presentation at this week’s Rotary meeting on Zoom. The agency was created by California voters when they approved Proposition 71 in 2004. It gave the agency $3 billion to fund stem cell research in California.  CRIM is primarily a research agency focusing on stem cell technology.
McCormack gave several examples of individuals with difficult, sometimes even debilitating diseases, who have been cured of their life-threatening diseases.”  He noted the agency currently has 61 clinical trials underway; these trials are examining a variety of illnesses including solid and blood cancers, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, eye conditions and more. CRIM provides funding opportunities, grants, clinical resources and research resources for researchers. Responding to the current coronavirus pandemic, two UCLA scientists recently received nearly $600,000 grants for Covid-19 research.
He said a 2019 Economic Impact Report concluded the impact of CRIM statewide has been significant. “We’ve generated $10.7 billion of additional sales revenue, $641.3 million of additional state/local tax revenues, $726.6 million in additional federal tax revenues, and created more than 56,000 full-time equivalent jobs statewide.”