Thursday, March 02, 2017

'Pressure testing' a $150 Million California Plan to Lure Business into Development of Stem Cell Therapies

The California stem cell agency's far-reaching plan to crate a $150 million, public-private partnership to speed development of stem cell therapies remains on hold as the agency looks for ways to lure in private enterprises.

In an interview last week with the California Stem Cell Report, Randy Mills, president of the $3 billion agency, said he had nothing fresh to report on the project, which did not draw any eligible applicants last fall.

Mills said his team is "pressure testing (the project) to make sure people really understand the terms."

In December, Mills said that the firms that responded to the request for applications in October were seeking to make a "better deal" than the agency had offered. Under the proposal, a new company would be created to develop therapies. It would be backed by a $75 million state loan (discounted to 50 percent payback)  with a matching $75 million coming from a successful applicant. The company would have the pick of agency research that did not already have a commercial partner.

Mills said that the unusual nature of the proposal posed challenges for the company and the agency.

In the interview last week, Mills said the agency is seeking to determine if having more time to prepare proposals will trigger more applications. Another factor is whether the terms do not meet the needs of potential applicants. Sphere: Related Content

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