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Texas Cancer Research Agency Gave Out $11M Without Review

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

The state’s cancer research agency has revealed it handed out an $11 million grant without reviewing the proposal.

It’s the latest challenge facing the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, or CPRIT.

The grant was awarded to Peloton Therapeutics in June 2010, making it one of CPRIT's first grants.

The cancer research institute says the oversight was discovered during an internal review."CPRIT must have the trust of our fellow Texans that we are not only doing great work but that we are doing everything the right way," said executive director Bill Gimson in a statement. "We proactively initiated this comprehensive review to be transparent and ensure good stewardship."

CPRIT says the oversight was the responsibility of its chief commercialization officer. That person, Jerry Cobbs, reportedly resigned earlier this month.

CPRIT has been under scrutiny lately after dozens of its scientific peer reviewers resignedin protest over funding decisions and accusations of favoritism.

CPRIT says it is “committed to continuing quality improvement in the agency’s processes and procedures.” CPRIT says Peloton’s funding has been put on hold and the company is reapplying.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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