Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas
History and Background
Texas Governor Rick Perry (2001 – 2015) asked select professionals to donate their time to a new approach to advancing scientific discoveries and developing new products through what became the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (“CPRIT”). Texas voters approved $3 billion for CPRIT funding in 2007 and with this, the first CPRIT award was granted in 2009. The original CPRIT committee included Dr. Malcolm Gillis, president of Rice University (1993-2004) and Charles Tate, Chairman and founder of CRG, LP (2003-2018), Texas’ largest health-care focused private equity firm with over $3 billion under management. Texas voters approved a second round of $3 Billion for CPRIT funding on November 5th, 2019.
CPRIT’s fund, now totaling $6 Billion to be distributed across more than two decades, supports groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas. One of the agency’s goals is to expedite innovation in cancer research and product development and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs throughout the state. Under the guidance of its governing body, the Oversight Committee, CPRIT accepts applications and awards grants for a wide variety of cancer-related research and for the delivery of cancer prevention programs and services by public and private entities located in Texas. All CPRIT-funded research is to be conducted in-state by Texas-based scientists reflecting CPRIT’s mission to attract and expand the state’s research capabilities and create new high-quality jobs in Texas.
*Proposition 6, proposing a constitutional amendment increasing the maximum bond amount authorized for CPRIT from $3 billion to $6 billion, was approved overwhelmingly by Texas voters in the November 2019 election.
CPRIT’s goal is to expedite innovation in cancer research and product development, and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs throughout the state. CPRIT advances its mission by awarding merit-base grants through three programs:
CPRIT supports the most creative ideas and meritorious projects brought forward by the cancer research community in Texas.
Ten percent (10%) of CPRIT funds support the delivery of evidence-based cancer prevention interventions to underserved populations in Texas.
Product Development & Research
CPRIT creates and supports infrastructure in Texas that accelerates the movement of new cancer drugs, diagnostics and therapies, by funding companies that are ready to take their life-giving products from the laboratory to the patient.
CPRIT 2019 Priorities and Latest Developments
CPRIT is governed by a nationally-recognized model of transparency and external oversight, the Texas Health and Safety Code: Chapter 102.
Legislation from the 83rd Texas Legislature modified that code to include enhancements to CPRIT’s governance and operations. One of the specific enhancements requires CPRIT’s Oversight Committee to establish program priorities on an annual basis. The priorities are intended to provide transparency in how the Oversight Committee directs the orientation of the agency’s funding portfolio between and within its three programs.
CPRIT Product Development Research Program Priorities for 2019
• Funding novel projects that offer therapeutic or diagnostic benefits not currently available; i.e., disruptive technologies
• Funding projects addressing large or challenging unmet medical needs
• Investing in early stage projects when private capital is least available
• Stimulating commercialization of technologies developed at Texas
• Supporting new company formation in Texas or attracting promising companies to Texas that will recruit staff with life science expertise, especially experienced C-level staff to lead to seed clusters of life science expertise at various Texas locations
• Providing appropriate return on Texas taxpayer investment
*House Joint Resolution 12 proposes a constitutional amendment to be submitted to the voters at the November 5, 2019 election authorizing the legislature to increase the maximum bond amount authorized for CPRIT from $3 billion to $6 billion.