Moderna BARDA Agreement: Section H.15 Institutional Responsibility Regarding Investigator Conflicts of Interest
The Institution (includes any Contractor, public or private, excluding a Federal agency) shall comply with the requirements of 45 CFR Part 94, Responsible Prospective Contractors, which promotes objectivity in research by establishing standards to ensure that investigators (defined as the project director or principal Investigator and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research funded under BARDA contracts, or proposed for such funding, which may include, for example, collaborators or consultants) will not be biased by any Investigator financial conflicts of interests. 45 CFR Part 94 is available at the following website: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5&node=45:184.108.40.206.51
As required by 45 CFR Part 94, the Institution shall, at a minimum:
a. Maintain an up-to-date, written, enforceable policy on financial conflicts of interest that complies with 45 CFR Part 94, inform each investigator of the policy, the Investigator’s reporting responsibilities regarding disclosure of significant financial interests and the applicable regulation and make such policy available via a publicly accessible website, or if none currently exists, available to any requestor within five business days of a request. A significant financial interest means a financial interest consisting of one or more of the following interests of the Investigator (and those of the investigator’s spouse and dependent children) that reasonably appears to be related to the Investigator’s institutional responsibilities:
(i) With regard to any publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists of the value of any remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure and the value of any equity interest in the entity as if the date of disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds $5000. Included are payments and equity interests;
(ii) With regard to any non-publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds $5000, or when the Investigator (or the Investigator’s spouse or dependent children) holds any equity interest; or
(iii) Intellectual property rights and interest, upon receipt of income related to such rights and interest.
Significant financial interests do not include the following:
(i) Income from seminars, lectures or teaching, and service on advisory or review panels for government agencies, Institutions of higher education, academic teaching hospitals, medical centers, or research institutes with an Institution of higher learning; and
(ii) Income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts, as long as the Investigator does not directly control the investment decisions made in these vehicles.
b. Require each Investigator to complete training regarding the Institution’s financial conflicts of interest policy prior to engaging in research related to any BARDA funded contract and at least every four years. The Institution must take reasonable steps [see Part 94.4(c)] to ensure that Investigators working as collaborators, consultants or subcontractors comply with the regulations.
c. Designate an official(s) to solicit and review disclosures of significant financial interests from each Investigator who is planning to participate in, or is participating in, the BARDA funded research.
d. Require that each Investigator who is planning to participate in the BARDA funded research disclose to the Institution’s designated official(s) the Investigator’s significant financial interest (an those of the Investigator’s spouse and dependent children) no later than the date of submission of the Institutions proposal for BARDA funded research. Require that each Investigator who is participating in the BARDA funded research submit an updated disclosure of significant financial interests at least annually, in accordance with the specific time period prescribed by the Institution during the period of the award as well as within thirty days of discovering or acquiring a new significant financial interest.
e. Provide guidelines consistent with the regulations for the designated official(s) to determine whether an Investigator’s significant financial interest is related to BARDA funded research and, if so related, whether the significant financial interest is a financial conflict of interest. An Investigator’s significant financial interest is related to BARDA funded research when the Institution, through its designated official(s), reasonably determines that the significant financial interest: could be affected by the BARDA funded research; or is in an entity whose financial interest could be affected by the research. A financial conflict of interest exists when the Institution, through its designated official(s), reasonably determines that the significant financial interest could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of the BARDA funded research.
f. Take such actions as necessary to manage financial conflicts of interest including any financial conflicts of a subcontractor Investigator. Management of an identified financial conflict of interest requires development and implementation of a management plan and, if necessary, a retrospective review and mitigation report pursuant to Part 94.5(a).
g. Provide initial and ongoing FCOI reports to the Contracting Officer pursuant to Part 94.5(b).
h. Maintain records relating to all Investigator disclosures of financial interests and the Institution’s review of, and response to, such disclosures, and all actions under the Institutions policy or retrospective review, if applicable, for at least 3 years from the date of final payment or, where applicable, for the time periods specified in 48 CFR Part 4, subpart 4.7, Contracts Records Retention.
i. Establish adequate enforcement mechanisms and provide for employee sanctions or other administrative actions to ensure Investigator compliance as appropriate.
j. Complete the certification in Section K – Representations, Certifications, and Other Statements of Contractors titled “Certification of Institutional Policy on Financial Conflicts of Interest”.
If the failure of an Institution to comply with an Institution’s financial conflicts of interest policy or a financial conflict of interest management plan appears to have biased the design, conduct, or reporting of the BARDA funded research, the Institution must promptly notify the Contracting Officer of the corrective action to be taken. The Contracting Officer will consider the situation and, as necessary, take appropriate action to refer the matter to the Institution for further action, which may include directions to the Institution on how to maintain appropriate objectivity in the BARDA funded research project.
The Contracting Officer and/or HHS may inquire at any time before, during, or after award into any Investigator disclosure of financial interest, and the Institution’s review of, and response to, such disclosure, regardless of whether the disclosure resulted in the Institution’s determination of a financial conflict of interests. The Contracting Officer may require submission of the records or review them on site. On the basis of the review of records or other information that may be available, the Contracting Officer may decide that a particular financial conflict of interest will bias the objectivity of the BARDA funded research to such an extent that further corrective action is needed or that the Institution has not managed the financial conflict of interest in accordance with Part 94.6(b). The issuance of a Stop Work Order by the Contracting Officer may be necessary until the matter is resolved.
If the Contracting Officer determines that BARDA funded clinical research, whose purpose is to evaluate the safety or effectiveness of a drug, medical device, or treatment, has been designed, conducted, or reported by an Investigator with a financial conflict of interest that was not managed or reported by the Institution, the Institution shall require the Investigator involved to disclose the financial conflict of interest in each public presentation of the results of the research and to request an addendum to previously published presentations.