Our recently released report, Entrepreneurs for Cures, focuses on the need for and importance of more examples that will lead to medical breakthroughs, and notes that, “The measure of our success is lives saved and suffering diminished – not the number of grants awarded, publications presented, or laboratory space acquired.” This report highlights how nonprofit disease research organizations are finding and funding big ideas, effectively paving the way for developing new business models to accelerate research.
At an all-day session at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on June 23, 2008, I spent the day hearing speakers on the topic of “Breakthrough Business Models: Drug Development for Rare and Neglected Diseases and Individualized Therapies,” which spotlighted nonprofits as innovators in translating research from basic science to therapies for patients. A wide variety of topics were raised:
- for academic researchers: How can we get beyond the need to only share results via peer-reviewed journals?
- for diseases of the developing world: how can we raise the incentives to address them?
In a panel on intellectual property, Craig Sorensen, Senior Director of Strategic Research Alliances at Vertex Pharmaceuticals outlined their work and collaborations in cystic fibrosis with CFF, Huntington’s disease with the Cure Huntington’s Disease Initiative, and tuberculosis and said that “industry is hiding behind cliches about failure and is doing a lot of running and staying in place.”
As Queta Bond, President of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund said at the end of the day, “We need to let more flowers bloom.” At FasterCures we’ll keep figuring out if we can help the process along and provide as much fertilizer as we can…
- Margaret Anderson, COO, FasterCures
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