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Ruvane E. "RIP" Grossman
For Immediate Release - June 09, 2005
Ruvane E. "Rip" Grossman
UM#$%$ Medical School Consultant Fined $10,000 For Improper Role in Licensing Agreement with CytRx
The M#$%$achusetts State Ethics Commission fined Ruvane E. "Rip" Grossman, a former consultant to the University of M#$%$achusetts Medical School (UMMS), $10,000 for violating the state's conflict of interest law. Grossman, a Missouri resident, provided intellectual property consulting services to UMMS to help license technologies developed by UMMS. At the same time, he was also consulting for CytRx Corporation, a California intellectual property marketing firm. By bringing UMMS and CytRx together on the licensing matter while he was consulting for both of them, Grossman violated G.L. c. 268A, §§ 4 and 6.
According to a Disposition Agreement, Grossman brought UMMS and CytRx together to discuss marketing UMMS's ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) technology. RNAi technology is an important life science and therapeutic technology. Grossman participated in the negotiation of a licensing agreement between UMMS and CytRx by attending meetings, making suggestions and discussing the relevant matters as both an agent for CytRx and as a UMMS consultant. At the time Grossman so participated, he had a consulting contract with UMMS for a maximum of $84,000, in addition to a consulting contract with CytRx for $5,000 a month and a "success fee" of at least $150,000.
In April 2003, UMMS signed a licensing agreement with CytRx by which CytRx would market the RNAi technology and UMMS would receive $200,000, 1.8 million shares in CytRx stock, royalty payments and other beneficial commitments from CytRx. In May 2003, after senior UMMS officials learned of Grossman's dual role, UMMS reviewed the licensing agreement. UMMS determined that it would be advantageous to leave the licensing agreement in place