FRAMINGHAM STUDY: Company Created to Sell Research Data
Hoping to profit from its renowned Framingham Heart Study, Boston University has created a for-profit company to analyze medical data and sell it to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, the Boston Herald reports (Lasalandra, 6/17). The new company, Framingham Genomic Medicine, will be supported by $21 million from venture capitalists. Boston University expects to own 20% of the company's stock and plans to establish a charitable trust for the study's participants as a way to compensate them for their long-standing contribution to the research. The study has amassed 52 years of medical data, including DNA, from thousands of participants. "This is the beginning of a new era," Dr. Arthur Holden, chair and CEO of the SNP Consortium, a collaboration of 14 companies that is creating a publicly available map of the human genome, said. "The demand for genetic databases is beginning to increase, and many of the leading university centers are beginning to think about how they can commercialize their samples and data sets." FGM has vowed not to sell patient data and has proposed the establishment of an advisory ethics committee (Kolata, New York Times, 6/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.