publication date: Mar. 18, 2016

 Slamming the Door

Part VIII – A Conversation with DePinho


By Paul Goldberg

The $18 million never made it from Austin to Houston.

MD Anderson’s initial stance was to deflect all CPRIT-related questions to CPRIT, but this didn’t make the controversy go away. So, the cancer center suggested that the grant undergo scientific review, as well as commercial.

Recently, I asked Dan Fontaine, MD Anderson’s executive chief of staff why the money never changed hands.

At the time that the consternation and the questions were being raised, things seemed to be going about internal workings at CPRIT that we were not a privy to,” he said. “It still became apparent that there was at least one constituency within CPRIT that felt—even though the RFA had specifically said that it was going to go through the commercial review group—that it needed to go through both the commercial review group and the scientific group.

“If the process was going to change to do that, we felt that it was important to be very clear that we were happy to let the process take place a second time and have whatever we had submitted go through both review processes. So we wrote a letter, as you may recall, to CPRIT and we suggested two things: kind of belt-and-suspenders:

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