Monday, September 29, 2014

Meriden Drug Company Gets Grant, Praises Esty

One of the more interesting vagaries in any campaign season is when an incumbent politician puts out is press release abut something that happened in their district, but doesn't make it clear what role they played in making it happen.

Such was the case Monday when Fifth District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty's office put out a press release about Meriden-based drug maker Protein Sciences receiving a $669,156 grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The funding is from the National Cancer Institute through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and will be used to support lung cancer treatment. 

The release is pretty standard fare, with Esty saying nice things about the company and Protein Sciences saying nice things about the Democratic congresswoman. What neither side makes clear is whether Esty had a hand in securing the funding.

If she did, then she should make it clear. Because otherwise it looks like an attempt to hitch her campaign's wagon to some positive news in the Fifth District.

Esty, a Cheshire woman, is smart enough and honorable enough to know better than to leave it open to question. She's also an experienced lawmaker who is good enough at what she does to know better.

Here's what Esty and the company said said in the press release. First, Esty:
“Protein Sciences is on the cutting edge of developing innovative healthcare solutions for the 21st century, and it is no surprise that the Department of Health and Human Services awarded this funding,” she said. “Last year when I toured their facility, I saw first-hand how Protein Sciences stands as a global leader in the biotech industry, creating jobs here in Connecticut. This grant will allow Protein Sciences to continue to deliver life-saving technologies to effectively treat lung cancer patients and keep our families healthy.”

Now here's what Dan Adams, executive vice chairman and global head of business development for Protein Sciences said:
“We are gratified to be awarded this contract to help develop a novel approach to treating patients with lung cancer,” he said. “We are collaborating with UCLA and Vault Nano Inc., developers of the vault approach to targeted cell delivery, and using our proprietary baculovirus technology to manufacture recombinant vaults that will deliver a potent chemokine to tumors.

“Elizabeth Esty has been a strong supporter of our company and its proprietary technology that can transform the vaccine business with products such as Flublok and vaults.  She has been a leader in promoting groundbreaking Connecticut technologies such as ours in Washington, and we greatly appreciate her help,”  Adams said.

In the interest of full disclosure, an Esty staffer did reach out to me Monday and offered to provide me with additional information beyond the release. Coverage of other stories Monday did not permit me to make a call back.

I will follow up with a call to the Esty campaign Tuesday in an effort to get some answers to the questions that have been raised in this post. But tell me, dear reader, what conclusions do you draw having read what Esty and the company said. 

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home