What good is a “miraculous” cure or a revolutionary therapy -- which is the goal of a $12 billion state of California enterprise -- if it is not accessible to patients?
That’s a question implicitly posed by a former member of the governing board of that enterprise, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), more commonly known as the stem cell agency. And he had an answer to the question and a suggestion for the state program.
The remarks come from Jeff Sheehy, who served on the board for 16 years beginning in 2004, the year CIRM was created. He sent the California Stem Cell Report a note after the publication of an article about CIRM’s $80 million effort to create a public-private manufacturing network to overcome obstacles to the production of stem cell and related therapies.
Sheehy spoke to the lack of availability of advanced medical care in underserved areas of California, many of which are rural and remote from the centers where cell and genetic treatments can be done. He proposed that CIRM develop a “capacity...