Skip to main content

NIH s Zerhouni Tries to Reassure Industry That New Ethics Rules Do Not Impede Collaborations

NEW YORK, March 28 (GenomeWeb News) - Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health, sent an open letter addressed to "industrial partners" last week that sought to reassure them that NIH will continue to work with industry despite recent changes in its conflict-of-interest rules.


The March 25 letter, distributed through an e-mail listserve from the NIH's office of technology transfer, states that the new rules do not prevent NIH employees from engaging in official activities or collaborations with industry. "The NIH and its investigators will continue to work with our industrial partners and maintain constructive interactions that remain untainted by bias and conflict," the letter said. "Strategic partnerships between NIH, private industry, and nonprofit organizations will continue to be a key element of translating biomedical research from the bench to the bedside."


Such collaborations can be informal exchanges of scientific information and preliminary discussions, as well as more formal Cooperative Research and Development Agreements.


The director's message follows new conflict of interest rules for NIH employees that were announced on Feb. 1 and can be viewed here.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.