New Year’s Resolution – Follow the Money

Following the money
There is a scene, possibly apocryphal, in the movie “All the President’s Men” where a character called “Deep Throat” is advising reporter Bob Woodward from the Washington Post on how to untangle the Watergate scandal: “Follow the money” he says. And they do and next thing you know President Nixon is resigning.

Now that approach may not always produce such dramatic results but it’s still true that whenever you are trying to understand and analyze a situation, one of the best ways is to simply follow the money- who is spending it, who is making it. So, if you are wondering about the future of the Regenerative Medicine (RM), then join the stem cell agency at the January 13 Regenerative Medicine State of the Industry Briefing where the focus will be on tracking the capital in RM. It could give you a fascinating glimpse into where the industry is heading in the next few years.

The free event is sponsored by CIRM’s friends at the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM). This is the fourth year for the briefing and each year the event grows larger and more ambitious. In addition to a review of the sector’s major financing deals, speakers will offer some predictions and thoughts on the Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials slated to be completed in 2014.

This is one time when the success of your rivals is good for you; if they can get money, then it is more likely that you will also be able to find financing. If they can get through the regulatory hurdles, then you are more likely to successfully navigate the Biologics License Application (BLA) process – the application process required to get Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market a biological product such as a drug. That alone is surely an excellent reason to attend.

The briefing is being held at the start of the Biotech Showcase, which is an amazing event in itself, bringing together Regenerative Medicine (RM) companies and investors with technology that fosters the formation of meetings and deals.

Biotech and JP MorganWhile all this is going on nearby, Union Square will be overrun with executives from the broader biotechnology industries who are attending the JP Morgan conference (who knows who you will run into at the Starbucks – think of the possible deals over a grande macchiato!).

New Year’s Resolution: Spend Wisely One of the most popular New Year’s Resolution is to do a better job of controlling finances and CIRM has been focusing on it’s future spending plans to make sure we are using our money wisely.
At our recent December Board meeting our governing Board said its priorities are to:

  1. Focus on putting selected projects on an accelerated pathway towards FDA approval
  2. Partner with the broader RM community to bring new funds and support for moving CIRM’s existing early translational awards through to the development stage 
  3. Lose Weight (oops, sorry – wrong resolution list) 

CIRM is almost 60 employees and 29 board members and hundreds of thousands of supporters with a vision for a healthier future for Californians. May 2014 bring all of us that reality.

Cynthia Schaffer supports CIRM’s Business Development Team and organizes CIRM’s educational outreach with the FDA. She can be reached a cschaffer@cirm.ca.gov

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