Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Modest Victory for Stem Cell Research in California

A California Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the Institute For Regenerative Medicine, better know as California's $3 billion end run around federal funding restrictions on stem cell research, is a legitimate state agency. The ruling, a clear victory for the agency and supporters of stem cell research, will be appealed.

And as long as the opportunity for appeal remains open, and the constitutionality of the agency remains potentially in doubt, funding will remain a significant problem for the institute. Still, as the New York Times pointed out,
the agency managed to finance its first research grants this month after six philanthropic organizations lent it a combined $14 million, to be paid back once bond market financing is available.

The grants, totaling $12.1 million, went to 16 universities and nonprofit research centers to set up basic stem cell research training programs.

That's a start, but it won't the funding floodgates remain, in all likelihood, several legal rulings away from opening.

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