LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s first-of-its-kind state program to fund stem-cell research is running out of money and supporters want voters to provide a $5.5 billion infusion.



FILE - In this March 16, 2012, file photo, researcher Terry Storm works in a stem cell research lab at the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, Calif. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has doled out nearly $3 billion for stem-cell research since 2004. Now, with the institute running out of money, its advocates are asking California voters to approve Proposition 14, to give it a $5.5 billion cash infusion. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)


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FILE – In this March 16, 2012, file photo, researcher Terry Storm works in a stem cell research lab at the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, Calif. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has doled out nearly $3 billion for stem-cell research since 2004. Now, with the institute running out of money, its advocates are asking California voters to approve Proposition 14, to give it a $5.5 billion cash infusion. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has doled out nearly $3 billion for research since the non-profit was created in a 2004 ballot question supported by 59% of voters. New stem-cell labs were created around the state and grants were awarded to Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and other prominent institutions.

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In the years since, clinical studies have been launched to determine how stem cells might treat a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer and Parkinson’s, as well as such conditions as spinal paralysis and auto-immune deficiencies.

Proposition 14’s supporters are hoping voters will again support the program, although some acknowledge that with the state caught in a pandemic-infused economic crisis it’s hard to guess how the electorate will react. Early voting begins Monday for the Nov. 3 election.

“I would be optimistic that having a medical emergency at the international level would hopefully drive people to realize that funding for medical research that leads to therapies and cures — including for COVID-19 where there are some interesting approaches underway that CIRM has funded — would persuade some people to

By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s first-of-its-kind state program to fund stem-cell research is running out of money and supporters want voters to provide a $5.5 billion infusion.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has doled out nearly $3 billion for research since the non-profit was created in a 2004 ballot question supported by 59% of voters. New stem-cell labs were created around the state and grants were awarded to Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and other prominent institutions.

In the years since, clinical studies have been launched to determine how stem cells might treat a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer and Parkinson’s, as well as such conditions as spinal paralysis and auto-immune deficiencies.

Proposition 14’s supporters are hoping voters will again support the program, although some acknowledge that with the state caught in a pandemic-infused economic crisis it’s hard to guess how the electorate will react. Early voting begins Monday for the Nov. 3 election.

“I would be optimistic that having a medical emergency at the international level would hopefully drive people to realize that funding for medical research that leads to therapies and cures — including for COVID-19 where there are some interesting approaches underway that CIRM has funded — would persuade some people to vote yes,” said Larry Goldstein, director of the University of California, San Diego’s stem cell research program.

Opponents argue the $5.5 billion bond purchase would unnecessarily add debt during the economic downturn and question whether the state got enough bang for its first $3 billion.

“Proposition 71 I think has done good work,” said Jeff Sheehy of San Francisco who, although he is a member of the governing board of CIRM, doesn’t believe it should be funded with any more bond money.

“I’m on the board,