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F O U R A Chronology of Events E VERYTHING IS SAID to have a beginning, although reasonable people may disagree over where that beginning is. In this chapter, therefore , we present a chronology of the events relevant to the creation and implementation of the agreement between NADI and the Plant and Microbial Biology Department (PMB). For our story we think it necessary to step back a few years from the initiation of the agreement between NADI and PMB, to 1993, five years before Novartis entered this scene.1 In 1993 UCB Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien convened a Biotechnology Planning Board composed of ten distinguished faculty members in biological science . The intent of the board was to discuss how UCB would maintain its preeminence in biotechnology and improve technology transfer with biotechnology firms. William Hoskins, director of the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) at UCB, was involved in this board at the request of Joseph Cerny, then vice chancellor for research. The board decided, among other things, that it wanted to have a relationship with industry patterned on the Scripps-Sandoz agreement in La Jolla, which had brought in significant industry investment. The goal for UCB was to seek $5 million per year for five or more years.2 Although the board engaged in conversations with several companies, nothing came of it. PLANT AND MICROBIAL BIOLOGY’S STRATEGIES Wilhelm Gruissem, then chair of what was then known as the Department of Plant Biology, was also a member of Tien’s Biotechnology Planning Board. A C H R O N O L O G Y O F E V E N T S 47 One administrator we interviewed suggested that Gruissem“felt that his department certainly needed the research money, so he took that concept [of significant industry investment over a considerable time period] and applied it” to developing the department. What emerged from these efforts was the formation of an International Biotechnology Advisory Board, which included fourteen representatives from industry by 1997 (Gruissem 1997). Gruissem’s first tactic was to invite these company representatives to give money to support the department’s graduate program in the fashion of a consortium, where each company would give approximately $10,000; but none of the companies was interested and this approach failed. Indeed, despite interest expressed by the biotechnology industry, in its three years of existence the board failed to generate any significant funding. It did, however, lay the groundwork for the subsequent agreement with Novartis by fostering departmental ties with industry. In 1997 a research relationship between the department—reorganized into Plant and Microbial Biology—and Monsanto/Calgene was pursued within the context of the International Biotechnology Advisory Board. However, OTL discouraged PMB from creating an agreement similar to that between Monsanto and Washington University in St. Louis. There were particular terms in the latter agreement that OTL wanted to avoid, among them (1) control of patent prosecution by Monsanto, and (2) no requirement of Monsanto to make timely intellectual property (IP) licensing decisions. Carol Mimura, associate director of OTL, asserted,“Both terms would have been so far outside of University of California policies that we didn’t think we could negotiate an agreement with Monsanto.” When these negotiations failed, Gruissem put together a committee of four (hereafter called C4)—himself; Bob Buchanan, PMB professor; Peggy Lemaux, a Cooperative Extension specialist also in PMB; and Gordon Rausser, an agricultural economist then dean of the College of Natural Resources—and approached OTL for advice on the best way to obtain private funding for the department. Such a move had at least the tacit approval of the highest administrators within the UC Office of the President (UCOP).3 The ultimately successful approach C4 took to secure funding for PMB was based on Rausser’s suggestion to reverse the usual relationship between funder and recipient. Under his plan, faculty would choose the source and conditions of corporate funding by pitting the companies against each other in competition for the right to collaborate with PMB. Under Rausser’s plan, any university agreement with industry had to meet four basic criteria: 1. Select a single industrial partner for a research alliance that will maximize the financial, technological, and intellectual benefits for PMB, the university, and California agriculture; F O U R 48 2. Use traditional business models to encourage competitive bidding among candidates for partnership; 3. Insist that the strategic alliance generate large uncommitted, unrestricted funds for the department to use for...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781592135356
Related ISBN
9781592135349
MARC Record
OCLC
184903524
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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