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Comment & Response |

Institutional Conflict of Interest—Reply ONLINE FIRST

Ross E. McKinney Jr, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online September 01, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.3250
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In Reply I appreciate the comments of Dr Bennett, the inventor of the gene therapy being studied by Spark Therapeutics. I very much respect, and even admire, her decision to waive royalties, and her choice to have no equity, stock options, or consulting payments related to her invention. While the focus of the Viewpoint was institutional conflict of interest, not personal, she has clarified her own financial choices related to the research. I might note that there is nothing she can do to remove what is probably the most worrisome source of conflict of interest, which is a strong belief in the validity and importance of her invention. The scientific process was created to deal with conflicts of this sort, and the strategies that the investigators have selected, such as using masked external groups to act as outcome reviewers, are excellent options.


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September 1, 2016
Jean Bennett, MD, PhD
1Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia2F. M. Kirby Center for Molecular Ophthalmology, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia3University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia
JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online September 01, 2016.;():. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.3248.
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