Monday, December 05, 2011

Conflict of Interest: Harvard Researcher Resigns from IOM Inquiry into California Stem Cell Agency

One of the members of the Institute of Medicine panel conducting a 17-month investigation into the $3 billion California stem cell agency has resigned because of a conflict of interest involving a San Diego stem cell firm.

David Scadden, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, withdrew last week after conferring with IOM officials concerning his connection to Fate Therapeutics, which lists him as a scientific founder.

In an email to the California Stem Cell Report, Scadden said,
"I have a relationship with a start-up company in CA and, after discussion, with the IOM, we concluded that it would constitute a conflict of interest. I would have enjoyed helping out, but didn't want to compromise the perception of objectivity of the report."
Fate Therapeutics does not hold an award from the California stem cell agency. It is not known whether the company has applied for CIRM funding. The agency does not release the names of applicants that are not approved.

We have queried the IOM about whether Scadden will be replaced on the now 13-member panel.

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