When a federal patent court ruled that the nonprofit Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard could legally license its version of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing system, it opened the door to millions of dollars of revenue for the institute. It also contributed to the seismic shift occurring in science whereby tax-exempt research institutes established under an emerging model of “free market philanthropy” can amass money to further their research and protect their commercial interests.
The Broad Institute, a tax-exempt organization established by contributions totaling $1.4 billion by Eli Broad and Ted Stanley, is hardly the only one of these nonprofit models.
The tax-exempt Broad draws National Institutes of Health funding to subsidize dozens of basic research projects, many of them conducted with commercial partners. But it is the Broad’s handling of its own CRISPR business and partnerships that threaten to undermine its nonprofit mission.
These nonprofit-corporate partnerships raise questions about the extent to which taxpayers should subsidize tax-exempt biomedical research by nonprofits that retain the rights to license patents and appear willing to defend them in court.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The Broad Institute is testing the limits of what ‘nonprofit’ means