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Comment & Response
November 2016

Institutional Conflict of Interest

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2F. M. Kirby Center for Molecular Ophthalmology, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 3University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(11):1334-1335. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.3248

To the Editor I read with interest the Viewpoint by McKinney.1 Although its focus is on institutional conflict of interest, I want to comment on my role, as well as the integrity of the study. Dr McKinney, a data safety monitoring committee member for a competing clinical trial, stated that I worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) when the reagent was invented. This is incorrect. I have been employed at the University of Pennsylvania and do not receive any salary from CHOP. The construct used to generate the recombinant virus was created in my laboratory and incorporated complementary DNA that we cloned prior to any interaction with CHOP. My association with CHOP is one of scientific collaboration on clinical trials initially sponsored by CHOP and now supported by Spark Therapeutics through a Clinical Trials Agreement.