This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.
Philip Morris Institute for Molecular Sciences
(aka internally as "The Institute" and "Scientific Research Institute") The Institute for Molecular Sciences should be seen as a philanthropic gesture by a pariah corporation which is desperately looking for some credibility in the scientific world, and hoping to make some friends who will support them in some vague way from the political and socal approbation then being heaped upon them.
For this reason, you shouldn't expect to find Philip Morris loading the organisation up with their long-term tobacco scientists and consultants, with the intention of producing scientific propaganda. Quite the opposite, in fact.
So this is a 'genuine scientific research facility' staffed by top acientists from around the world. However it is also important to appreciate:
- The tobacco industry's scientific reputation was pure mud by 1995, and so only particular types of scientist would risk being associated with it;
- Some good scientists who's work was not likely to become embroiled in tobacco propaganda, or who didn't care if it did.
- The arrogant, trying to cash in on their reputation. Scientists who believed their reputation was of such high order that the cigarette association would not dent it. Hense the prepodernance of Nobel Laureats on the Scientific Advisory Board.
- Philip Morris couldn't avoid slipping a couple of its long-term scientific 'friends' into positions of influence on the boards.
- The company kept tight control via the executives and friends on the Board of Directors.
- The company had rights of first-pick if any dramatic new drug, etc. was developed. So this was also a potential business decision, not just philanthropy; they obviously had some ambitions to add phramacueticals to their stable of companies.
- The association with Scripps seems to have been a key factor since Scripps gave the funding corporations a high level of control and benefit from operations conducted within its Institute. Philip Morris appears to have had a similar agreement as that already struck with Johnson & Johnson, and PPG Industries.
1991 July 12: Science magazine carries are report on the Scripps Institute, which has now become "the nation's largest "independent,nonprofit biomedical research center" surpassing the Mayo Clinic. It has strong links to industry and gets $58 million of its total annual budget of $85 million from the National Institutes of Health.
But the present form of Scripps owes much to industrial ties, and this has made the organisation controversial "To protect the interests of its industrial partners, Scripps won't share some materials unless recipients agree to yield to the institute first rights to license any improvements or products devcloped from them. "
Dr Gerald Edelmann, of Rockefeller University, heads Scripps' Board of Scientific Governors and the article also mentions Dr Peter Schultz, both of whom figured later.
Scripps raised some eyebrows by embracing a unique long-term licensing agreement with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) that gives the pharmaceutical company first rights to results from Scripps' research. [Then in 1985] Scripps formed a second long-term affiliation, with PPG lndustries.
PPG now holds first rights to everything in areas not tied up by J&J, such as plant molecular biology and polymer chemistry, and second rights to health care advances J&J doesn't take.
In spite of such complaints, however, "right now most people would love to use Scripps as a model," according to Peter Schultz of the University of California at Berkeley, a cordial competitor in pioneering the field of catalytic antibodies. "If I could reproduce the J&J deal, I'd do it. It's an example of what a lot of people argue there should be more of."
To Bruce Stillman, assistant director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Scripps exemplifies the kind of "innovativc funding" arrangements that are becoming an economic necessity. "If private research institutes want to remain the best that they can be, we're going to have to investigate ways of cooperating with industry," he says.
[Note: RJ Reynolds and the tobacco industry have special funding and consulting arrangements with Rockefeller University.
Also note: this article was copied and circulated among the executives in Philip Morris. It appears to have been the trigger for them to consider the idea of establishing their own foundation/research facility.]
1992 Jan 23: Chuck Wall is writing to Dr Gerald Edelman, ex-Rockefeller University, now of the San Diego Neurosciences Institute. He is asking for ideas for some genuine scientific research project the company could support.
1992 April 1: Memo from Chuck Wall to Murray Bring: In February he had met with Gerald Edelman to discuss his ideas regarding a major further research project which Philip Morris could support. Dr Sydney Brenner (from Cambridge in UK) has already been selected for the Director job. Other discussions had obviously taken place before this date, and Edelman apparently expects to incorporate this new organisation into his Neurosciences Institute in some way.
[Note: The Scripps Institute in La Jolla, near San Diego, houses but apparently does not fund or control Edelman's Neuroscience Institute.]
This document includes a long outline of a proposed new medical research institute which is clearly aimed to raise Philip Morris's philanthropic profile in medical circles.
Dr Edelman (Neurosciences Institute) suggests:
- An institute with 100 researchers — "70% from the host institution and 30% visiting researchers on sabbaticals"
- Independent — have own board of directors.
- The Institute's board, consisting of several Philip Morris representatives, but with a majority of researchers with top qualifications in the focus areas, would select researchers from around the world.
- Research focus on the biological sciences, and be "cutting edge."
- Edelman urges that we start with just one institute and focus our efforts on getting it established before trying to develop any more. If the first is successful, by whatever standards we choose to measure success, then he believes others can follow, with each institute greatly expanding the value of the others because of the increased interaction.
- [We would] enter into some arrangement with either the host institution or the individual "permanent" researchers which would give Philip Morris first patent rights, or some sort of contractual right to develop any applications of those researchers' ideas.
- Dr. Edelman suggested a yearly budget of between $9 and $10 million, which would include the use of some 50,000 square feet of laboratory space, and all support services.
1994 Apr 8: Dr Charles C Edwards [ex FDA Commissoner and Head of Scripps Institute Medical Clinic] faxed his C/V to the Tobacco Institute from the President's Office at the Scripps Institute This document was in the Tobacco Action Group file. It lists him also as "President, California Healthcare Institute."
1994 June 30: Gerald Edelman, now supported by Richard Lerner (President of Scripps Institute) is still negotiating with Chuck Wall at Philip Morris for the cigarette company to fund a major research institute to be attached to the Scripps Institute in La Jolla. They recommend a management structure consisting of a Board of Directors and also a Scientific Advisory Board.
The matter of board governance and interaction with Philip Morris's interests is of central importance. We propose that the Board of Directors of the Institute consist of a number of individuals of high achievement, no larger than 10 initially.
Among other administative staff-level positions they recommend that:
Our present proposal, for example, is that that board might contain the following persons, at a minimum : Charles Wall as Chairman; Murray Bring , representing Philip Morris; Sydney Brenner [proposed head of new Institute], ex officio; Richard Lerner [CEO Scripps], Gerald Edelman [CEO Neurosciences Institute], and additional members of the Philip Morris Board considered to be suitable (for example, Harold Brown ).
Other distinguished members of the community at large could be considered as candidates for the Board at your leisure. This Board would be the central governing organization of the new institute and it would oversee financial matters, the execution of bylaws, all public representations, and all matters of scientific interest that involve private and public responsibilities.
The President of the institute would report directly to the board and its Chairman on all matters pertaining to the activities of the institute.
We also envision two additional independent laboratory heads, who would be scientists of high accomplishment from Philip Morris or Kraft. Their function would be to carry out applied research' and extensions of research originated at Philip Morris and Kraft.
The Research Director would help in the day-to-day guidance of research directions across the various laboratories. A person to keep in mind for this position is a young, distinguished chemist of high achievement, Peter Schultz, who is presently at the University of California at Berkeley.
The administrative staff of the institute should include an Executive Director, a Grants and Contracts Manager, a Personnel Officer and a person to supervise buildings and grounds.
A few final points that we have already discussed on previous occasions remain to be mentioned : First rights on all intellectual property should be owned by Philip Morris. This is consistent with the establishment of not-for-profit status for the new institute, which should certainly be done.
1995 Jan 25: the Board of Directors of Philip Morris Companies Inc. approved the funding of two hundred and twenty-five million dollars (in 1995 dollars) over 15 years to establish an independent institute to conduct basic scientific research in the area of cell signal transduction (the "Institute" ).
1995 April 3 - 6: Meeting in La Jolla of the Philip Morris executives, Scripps and Neuroscience Institute heads, and a later flight to San Francisco for a meeting with Peter Schultz at Berkeley University. Note that two of Shook Hardy & Bacon's lawyers are also present.
1995 Jun 1: Philip Morris has decided to go ahead with its $225 million Institute.
We continue to seek other nationally-recognized individuals to serve on the Board. Because of other pending commitments, neither George Bush nor Jack Danforth are in a position to commit adequate time to serve on the Board of Trustees.
To be located in La Jolla (San Diego) near Scripts Research Institute. Primary research into cell signal transduction. Those elected/selected are:
We currently are discussing the possibility of joining the Board with former U.S. Senator George Mitchell , whose initial reaction was positive. We also have met with the executive search firm of Heidrick & Struggles and have been given a number of names of highly qualified people as potential Trustees.
- PM Directors:
Richard H Bogan , R William Murray , Charles R Wall , all reporting to Bible and Bring.
Dr Sydney Brenner, molecular biologist of Kings College Cambridge — President and Scientific Director for 3 years
- Key Staff Researchers:
- Dr Peter Schultz - Prof of Chem at UC Berkley (a member of their NAS)
- Dr David Beach - head of a laboratory at Cold Springs Harbor
They planned to have 30-40 scientists operating at Institute by July 1996.
1995 Jun 1: Report by Bill Murray, Richard Bogan and Charles Wall to Geoff Bible and Murray Bring (Actually to the PM Board). "Update on Development of the Scientific Research Institute." The Key points are:
- Dr Sydney Brenner was to be President and Scientific Director [he had been 'warehoused' in the Scripps Institute for a year or so]
- Dr Peter Schultz 'indicated a strong interest in joining the Institute with the next year'
- Dr David Beach from Cold Harbor Laboratories [Replacing the previous Cold Harbor candidate]
- They were talking to a number of well-respected national figures about joining the Board of Trustees"
- Dr Harry Beaty, Dean of Northwestern University Medical School
- Dr Robert Glaser, ex Dean of Stanford University Medical School
- Dr Charles Edwards, ex FDA commissioner and Head of Scripps Medical Center.
They recommend renting a temporary laboratory and office space near to the Scripps Research Institute for three years. Those already agreeing to serve on the Scientific Advisory board includes four Nobel Laureats.
- Sir John Kindrew - ex Director of European Molecular Laboraty
- Prof Manfred Eigen, Biophsical Chemistry Institute in Germany [Involved in the Heidelberg Appeal meeting]
- Prof Charles Weissman, University of Zurich
- Dr T Honjo, Professor of Biochemistry, Kyoto, Japan
- Prof Walter Gilbert, Molecular Biology, Harvard University
- Prof Eddie Fisher, Biochemist at University of Washington [Tobacco friendly witness]
1995 Aug 2: Confidential progress report from Heidrick & Struggles, who are Philip Morris's Executive Search consultants. They are looking for Trustees for the Institute (as distinct from the Directors, who will be Philip Morris executives).
They are obviously attempting to keep the names of potential candidates "within the family" of the tobacco industry's coalition partners [among the drug, automobile, chemical, industrial companies.]
1995 Aug: Timetable says this is the time the Institute will become operational. Dr Brenner will begin to move his laboratory to La Jolla.
1995 Oct 4: Chuck Wall writes to Harry N Beaty (Board of the Institute) saying they have rented temporaty space and Sydney Brenner is in the process of moving his laboratory. Peter Schultz has still to agree to join. Other staff have been chosen.
He outlines some of the problems they face:
As important as anything else are the discussions we have been having with regard to the issues of Philip Morris's rights-of-first-refusal to any Institute inventions, and the name. Quite frankly, these two issues have presented us with our biggest concerns. I believe you are familiar with both.
Currently, we are inclined to give up the rights because they subject both Philip Morris and the Institute to the criticism (however unwarranted) that the Institute is nothing more than a research lab for the Company. This, neither of us needs, especially as the Institute starts out, and before its reputation is made and stature recognized.
We are also inclined not to use Philip Morris's name in the Institute. For me, this is a more difficult issue, because we do not want it to appear as if we are hiding our involvement, and we do want credit for what we consider to be a very worthwhile and commendable effort.
We are concerned, however, based on what some leading scientists have said, that our name will create difficulties in recruitment, and acceptance of the Institute within the research community. I would appreciate any thoughts you may have.
1996 April 26: Institutes Find It Hard to Kick the Tobacco Funding Habit
" Philip Morris Gives Institute a Head Start" about the Molecular Sciences Institute at Scripps Research.
Beyond having one representative on the board of trustees, retired company Chair R William Murray, Philip Morris wlll have no say in the Institute's direction .'"We have total autonomy" says Brenner.
- John Safer, a Virgiria banker and sculptor
- Charles Edwards, the former head of Scripps Research Institute, ex FDA.
1996 July: to July 1997 Timetable says this years is for the design process for a Permanent Facility and the beginning of construction.