New agency rules will require universities to ensure that grantees have no monetary stake in corporate enterprises
The Department of Health and Human Services is moving ahead with final work on long-awaited regulations to deal with financial conflict-of-interest questions involving researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health and other Public Health Service (PHS) agencies, NIH officials confirm.

A draft of the regulations obtained by The Scientist puts nearly all responsibility for enforcing avoidance of conflicts of interest--such as equity ownership in biotechnology start-up firms benefiting from on-campus research--on the shoulders of universities receiving government funds.

"We don't want to see full disclosure statements," says George J. Galasso, NIH associate director for the Office of Extramural Affairs. "We try to avoid the role of a policeman.... We're not going to ask that [universities] submit their policy to us, but we reserve the right to ask for it. And if there...

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