comments by some Board members, the outcome was in doubt until the final
vote," said Barber. "The Board's decision was based primarily on the science of Dr.
Svendsen's proposal, as well as his reputation. That said, the advocacy
from the people with ALS and their family members in the audience clearly made a
difference by giving the Board their personal stories and perspectives on the
"Nine proposals were
send back for reconsideration. Six were already approved; ours was #7
on the list for discussion and the only one approved on the spot", said
Winokur, "The whole
experience was so touching."
"It wasn't until the Board began their roll call for
votes that we realized what was about to happen," said Cheryl. "With
each vote of "yes" or "aye," the emotion grew in the audience."
After the last vote was cast, making the decision
unanimous, everyone in the room spontaneously applauded. The final
announcement of approval brought cheers, tears, and hugs. Cheryl added,
"One person living with ALS tearfully exclaimed, 'We are not alone'."
"This was a great example of synergy between intelligent CIRM board
members, great science and articulate patients working together to bring this
study to life," said Svendsen. " My thanks go to CIRM, to the
patients, and to staff in my amazing laboratory - who behind the
scenes are the ones who will make this happen."