Reeling Texas cancer agency OK’d faulty $11M award

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Peloton Therapeutics aims to become a leading oncology company through the discovery and development of superior therapeutics, delivering extraordinary value to its employees, investors, and ultimately, cancer patients,” according to the company’s application summary.

CPRIT _ started behind a push led by cancer survivor Lance Armstrong and Perry _ spent most of its first five years basking in praise and industry awe of the unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars committed to a state-run, cancer-fighting effort. But those plaudits abruptly gave way to rebukes starting in May, and the fissures came from within.

Dr. Alfred Gilman, the agency’s chief scientific officer and a Nobel laureate, announced his resignation following a $20 million award that never received a full scientific review. The money was for a so-called incubator project at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, one of the country’s top research institutes.

Gilman accused the agency’s oversight board of ramrodding the project through the application process, despite the proposal being just six pages long. Gimson has said the type of proposal didn’t require a full scientific review under agency rules but has since conceded missteps in how that award was handled.

In wake of the Peloton findings, CPRIT announced it would institute new rules that require independent third parties to make sure grant review policies are followed. The agency said it will install a compliance certification process that will accompany every recommended proposal given to the oversight committee.


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