1 August 2007
According to a report in the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, the UK Stem Cell Foundation, established to fund translational research to speed the development of clinically available stem cell therapies, is experiencing serious financial problems. Following the recommendations in the Pattison report, the then Chancellor Gordon Brown announced that the Government would inject a substantial amount of additional funding into stem cell science and technology, including support for joint funding of translational research by the Medical Research Council and the UKSCF. An initial two-year pilot of the joint funding scheme was to be followed, if successful, by a commitment to match funding raised by the UKSCF up to a maximum of £10 million per annum.
However, the 2006/07 and 2007/08 funding, at £1 million per year, has reportedly been far from adequate. The Telegraph’s report claims that the Foundation has run out of money only four months into the current financial year and is in discussions with the Medical Research Council (MRC) about whether, with the MRC’s help, it can keep going until April 2008, when the Government’s increased funding commitment is due to begin.