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The promise of $3 billion in state funding for biotechnology research in California has more than one law firm in the area salivating — especially now that San Francisco has been picked to host the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The promise of $3 billion in state funding for biotechnology research in California has more than one law firm in the area salivating — especially now that San Francisco has been picked to host the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is the first law firm to stop gawking and start acting on the city’s selection. Earlier this week, Pillsbury used the Institute’s San Francisco siting as an opportunity to announce its new SCOPE — Stem Cell Outlook & Planning Effort — noting in the press release its distance from the Institute’s new King Street location (about one mile from Pillsbury’s 50 Fremont St. location).

“This week we planted the flag with SCOPE,” said David Anderson, who manages the firm’s San Francisco office. “We know that companies that are coming to California for this funding will have a whole wide array of needs that we feel we are well-suited to meet.”

Of course, plenty of other firms feel the same way and have been positioning themselves to make the most of the opportunity.

“Mayor Gavin Newsom made a personal and very open invitation to the industry to think of San Francisco, not just as the birthplace of biotech, but as a fantastic center for biotech companies,” said Heller Ehrman partner Bruce Jenett, who serves on Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Biotechnology Advisory Council. “And people went wow.”

Fenwick & West organized its own smaller stem-cell initiative committee four months ago, and is planning a symposium involving a local biotechnology company and venture capital firm.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.

One of the authors claiming Dan Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code copied his ideas has admitted he exaggerated his case in an interview with a journalist.