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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.

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