Mononucleosis, the “kissing disease,” has brought the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation and Johnson & Johnson closer together. Last month, the FDA approved a six-minute mononucleosis test, named Monoalert, that is the first product to reach the market as a result of a 1983 agreement between the research institute and the company. Scientists at Scripps originally identified the amino acid sequence in the virus that causes mono, and constructed a synthetic peptide that detects antibodies to the disease. Investigators at the nearby J&J Biotechnology Center then developed the assay into a marketable product. Under the collaborative agreement, the pharmaceutical company funds basic research at the Scripps Clinic in return for first-refusal rights on commercial applications of the work. The next product close to market is a test that measures apolipoprotein and could have applications in cholesterol management.

The founder of the International Rice Research Institute, Robert F. Chandler Jr., is...

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