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Green, blue, and yellow image of a stem cell

Image by NIH Image Gallery from Flickr

The Biopolitical Times reported this month that the California stem cell and gene therapy program “seems to be in serious trouble.”

 “On first glance, it may look impressive, with over a thousand patients enrolled in CIRM-funded clinical trials. But it shows a depressingly small number of effective treatments or cures. 

“CIRM’s greatest accomplishment, of which it can justifiably be proud, is the success of a therapy that has cured more than 40 children born with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). 

“Unfortunately, that is the only cure so far developed, and the first attempt to market it was abandoned for financial reasons. It is not currently available outside of a clinical trial funded by CIRM, although a UCLA team is working to develop it and make it available more widely.”

The article was written by Pete Shanks, a longtime contributor to the Biopolitical Times, which is an online publication of the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS), a non-profit organization in Berkeley, Ca. 

The center opposed the ballot initiative that created the California...