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CIRM logo in blue and gray text

One year ago this month, a $5.5 billion wave washed over California’s ambitious stem cell agency and left it refreshed and renewed for another decade or so of searching for “miraculous” treatments for a host of deadly, incurable afflictions.

Officially known as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the agency has seized its new role with alacrity — at least when it comes to awards. It is now on a pace to hand out $38,000 an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  That would amount to $519 million in awards between this time last year and the end of the agency’s current fiscal year in June.

It’s a “new era” for CIRM, said the president and CEO of CIRM, Maria T. Millan, on Tuesday. She declared that the agency’s new, just-approved strategic plan will “deliver the full potential of regenerative medicine” and lead to “transformative” stem cell therapies. 

That is a far cry from the fall of 2020 when CIRM was literally planning to close its doors if voters rejected Proposition 14, the ballot initiative... see more