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Stem Cell Center Asks Regents for Help

Audio

Aired 8/17/09

San Diego's stem cell consortium has abandoned efforts to get commercial financing for its planned research center. So the group has a new plan to get the project off the ground.

— San Diego's stem cell consortium has abandoned efforts to get commercial financing for its planned research center. So the group has a new plan to get the project off the ground.

The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine wants to build an institute that will be a focal point for stem cell research in San Diego. But the group's vice president, Louis Coffman, said efforts to secure a bank loan have become too expensive and time consuming.

So far, the consortium has raised $66 million from a major benefactor and from Proposition 71 funding. But it needs to find $60 million more before the project is viable.

Coffman said UC San Diego will be the research center's biggest tenant, so the group is asking the University of California Regents to guarantee bond financing. Coffman hopes the Regents will give their approval within the coming month, so construction can begin. The stem cell research center would be most visible benefit to San Diego from Proposition 71, passed in 2004, to fund stem cell research.

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