A Good Year for Stowers

James Stowers Jr.
James Stowers Jr. speaks to University of Missouri-Columbia graduates last night at the Hearnes Center. (Nick King photos)

In addition to buying his own constitutional amendment in Missouri, a legal gift from Missouri voters that cost him about $29 million, James Stowers, Jr. was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Missouri last night.

Interesting timing. Call me cynical, but I see this as a quid pro quo for the partnership between Stowers’ BioMed Valley Partnership and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Basically, university researchers cede intellectual property rights to BioMed in exchange for large endowments.

No wonder Mr. Stowers was willing to pony up $29 million to convince Missouri voters to pass Amendment 2: We pay for his R & D through the state university system and he profits from the resulting patents.

If embryonic stem cell research really held the promise its supporters claim, Mr. Stowers would have put his $29 million directly into the research rather than into amending the Missouri constitution.

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