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Parliamentary question - E-003717/2022Parliamentary question

Potential conflict of interests involving the President of the Commission

Question for written answer  E-003717/2022
to the Commission
Rule 138
Rosa D'Amato (Verts/ALE)

Heiko von der Leyen, a doctor and scientific director of the US biotech company Orgenesis, which specialises in cell and gene therapies and is a frontrunner in the development of RNA COVID vaccines, is involved in the foundation established by the University of Padua on 8 June 2022 to manage research into RNA gene therapy and pharmaceuticals. This project is being financed under Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan through the EUR 320 million paid to the Italian Ministry of Universities.

The Ordinary Assembly of the members of the foundation, called the ‘National Centre for Research and Development of gene therapy and pharmaceuticals using RNA technology’, at which the representatives of its governing bodies were elected, took place in Padua on 30 September 2022.

The research programme is being developed around a structure consisting of a hub – the University of Padua – and spokes, consisting of 49 bodies that include the universities of Siena, Modena, Rome and Milan, the Italian Institute of Technology, the Bambin Gesù Hospital in Rome and three private-sector companies.

Von der Leyen represents Orgenesis, which is one of the project founders and will receive EUR 200 000 in contributions each year[1].

Does the Commission not consider there to be a potential conflict of interests involving President von der Leyen, who is already under investigation by the EPPO over the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines?

Submitted: 15.11.2022

Last updated: 29 November 2022
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