A set of newly-published proposals put forth by the CPRIT oversight committee strips out the Chief Commercialization Officer and related committees, suggesting that the cancer fighting organization will no longer be permitted to attract new biotech companies into Texas.
A sweeping set of new proposals posted today on the Texas Register by the CPRIT oversight committee seeks to make wide-ranging changes to the cancer research funding organization by effectively eliminating its role in using Texas taxpayer dollars to foster biotech startups in the state, as well as attract major biotech corporations to relocate. The new statues, which propose changes to virtually every aspect of the organization, appears to replace the entire commercialization arm with new compliance and oversight officers, as represented in Section 703.2 of the document:
Section 703.2 adds the definitions for “chief product development officer”, “compliance officer”, “product development review council”, and “product development prospects.” The section proposes to delete references to the “chief commercialization officer”, the “commercialization review council”, and “commercial prospects”. The section also clarifies the definition of “cancer research” to include research into the prevention of cancer.
Deleting references to the “chief commercialization officer,” “commercialization review council,” and “commercial prospects,” suggests that CPRIT’s new organizational structure will not include its once robust operations to attract private biotech companies into the state. These changes would lay to waste incubator programs designed to help foster new start-ups within Texas, as well as significant relocations of biotech operations.
Conversely, the addition of roles such as “chief product development officer,” “product development review council,” and “product development prospects” would suggest that the commercialization arm will now be more limited in scope, and focus on smaller, in-state product development projects, rather than attracting entire business and operations into the state. The new document describes the role of chief product development officer as: “. . . the individual employed by the Institute to oversee the review and evaluation of grant applications for the development of drugs, biological, diagnostics, or devices arising from cancer research and prevention activities.”
Similarly, the designation of product development prospects is described as: “the potential for development of products, services, or infrastructure to support cancer research efforts, including but not limited to pre-clinical, clinical, manufacturing, and scale up activities.”
It is particularly interesting that this section juxtaposes the deletion of CPRIT’s commercialization arm with the addition of a compliance officer — a detail that only further suggests that these proposals constitute a sea change in the scope and direction that CPRIT will take in the foreseeable future, should these proposals be passed by the Texas legislature.
Download a .pdf of the CPRIT Oversight Committee’s proposed amendments.
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Let us know in the comment section below what you think of this proposed change to the way that CPRIT operates.