Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CPRIT/BIOALLIANCE

The number of participants to a recent CPRIT  RFA (Request for Application) is unknown to the CRBCM.  But according to a recent published participation in a CPRIT meeting, up to 800 applications could have been received.  All applicants had to pay one thousand dollars with their applications. for a separate commercialization review.  You are free to submit more than one application  as long as you pay more money.  The money goes not to CPRIT, but in its wings is located Bio-Alliance.  Who are they?  How come they are in charge of reviewing CPRIT applications?  Where is the CPRIT review crew.?
We at CRBCM had a chance to meet Dr. Larson, the Bio-Alliance commecialization reviewer in charge.  He told us he had no experience with neither the medicine related to cancer, nor its prevention. He "specializes in commercialization of drugs and devices" and from what he told us, is finding Biotech companies mostly from out of state (not from Texas) to bring them to Texas. He did not tell us that until after we contacted and met him to discuss the Comprehensive project of the CRBCM which is located in El Paso.  Why? to get 1000 dollars from one more applicant?  The last CPRIT meeting revealed 11% chances of getting a grant.   So potentially, Bioalliance stands to gain up to 1000,000 dollars from applicants. And 89% of them will lose their application money? or are people reimbursed if not successful? we doubt it?

The President of Bio-Alliance came to the meeting with us.  He seemed content.  I did not know why.
I soon found out: "Dr ...can't say your name, frankly speaking, I did not read your project...but can you tell me about your background...?"  I knew right there, this was a joke!  But I played along for respect of CPRIT.   We had learned about Dr. Larson because his name was mentioned in the RFA as a person who can help.  The CRBCM submitted our application draft to this man. He could have sent us an e-mail, to explain that he did only look at drug and device commercialization projects, but he called for a meeting telling us that people will be "joining us". And they came to the meeting without reading what it was about.  Does this sound to you like a representative of CPRIT?  But mark my words, people paid 1000 dollars to have their project reviewed. The money is going to a friend of CPRIT!  Sounds like cronyism or Nepotism at CPRIT.   The current management is taking CPRIT where ever they want.  They have decided to fund mostly  UNIVERSITIES because the public will not really object. That's bias! The fundamental crime against minorities and small private institutions.  Where is the Equal Opportunity Commission on this! But look at it the other way, may be the CPRIT story was started by a University fund raising scheme!  Good start for an interesting investigation!   We have a lot to say to James Drew, a Dallas Journalist.  He is the investigator, not me.

(This is an opinion based on facts that I came to meet through this experience with CPRIT)
The NIH needs to learn from this.  The may ask 1200 dollars to be paid to CRBCM, and I promise not to read the applications!  and now and then invite the applicant in my office to see them squeal !  Ask them about their background, and you get the picture!
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