Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Act now and help catalyze a more effective & efficient medical research enterprise

Curing disease has the greatest potential to reduce suffering and grief. It's also the best way to improve the bottom line of spending on health. Real economic growth depends on our ability to develop medical solutions that eliminate untimely death and disability.

No one can do this work alone. Expediting cures requires collaboration.

In a week, hundreds of medical research leaders and decision-makers from different sectors will come together at the inaugural Partnering for Cures meeting to do just that. Join us.

This first-of-its-kind meeting will be held December 1-3 in New York City.

Program: More than 80 confirmed speakers including:
  • Pfizer's Jeffrey Kindler
  • FDA's Joshua Sharfstein
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Edward Benz
  • Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation’s Susan Love
  • Biotechnology Industry Organization’s James Greenwood
  • Harvard Medical School's Levi Garraway
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Garry Neil
  • Blueprint Research & Design’s Lucy Bernholz
  • NIH Chemical Genomics Center’s Christopher Austin
  • Eli Lilly & Company's Gail Cassell
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Alan Lewis
  • International AIDS Vaccine Initiative's Seth Berkley
Presentations: 42 nonprofit foundations to highlight their capabilities and research and development strategies to potential funders and partners

Partnering: customized partnering system facilitates one-on-one connections among potential collaborators; therapeutic affinity roundtables jumpstarts networking across sectors; networking opportunities that will link you to key organizations whose mission and strategies match your priorities

Participants: More than 400 attendees from more 350 organizations are registered. They represent a broad range of sectors: philanthropy, foundations, industry, academia, government, media and venture capital.

Don’t miss this opportunity to help accelerate the time it takes to develop new medical treatments. Register now.Link

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The FDA's To-Do List

by Margaret Anderson, COO, FasterCures

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s priority to-do list is long. Dr. Joshus Sharfstein, FDA's Principal Deputy Commisioner spent some time recently addressing the list with members of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. At the top of the list was transparency, a critical priority and one that the agency is addressing through a Task Force dedicated to delve deeper into this area. Also on the list were credibility, standards, global supply chain, guidance, integrity, enforcement. FDA’s credibility is of paramount importance, without it the medical research enterprise and health care delivery system will come to a grinding halt. "If we can successfully build something with all these strands together it will be more than the sum of its parts."

I asked about how the agency can work more closely with companies so there is more predictability. We’ve all heard stories of promising compounds languishing because the regulatory hurdles were high and in the end, the patients pay the ultimate price if that promise sits idle.

The expansion of the agency’s commitment to advance regulatory science spans work in the Critical Path shop, the Reagan-Udall Foundation (of which FasterCures is a recent supporter), and a list of key science areas that could make a big difference in the markers of whether something works. In order for the baton to be passed from NIH-funded work to translation at companies into products, the FDA needs to be ahead of the innovation curve. Sounds like the topic is clearly on the to-do list.

The Alliance for a Stronger FDA has made a huge difference in the FDA’s funding levels. Its only goal is to get the agency more appropriated dollars and I 'm proud to be a Board member. If your organization is not a member, I urge you to get engaged. The agency’s funding situation has improved, but we have a long way to go to ensure FDA gets to where it wants to be vis-à-vis innovation in all areas, but particularly in medical research.

Which makes FasterCures' Partnering for Cures meeting all the more timely and relevant. To be held December 1-3 in New York, we're bringing together medical research leaders, investors, and decision-makers, including Dr. Sharfstein, to explore innovative approaches to pursuing high-risk, long-term investments that could lead to therapeutic breakthroughs. Joining Dr. Sharfstein on the speaker roster are some of the most forward-thinking leaders in medical research: Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Bob Beall, NIAID's Anthony S. Fauci, Harvard Stem Cell Institute's Doug Melton. The list goes on...but what I think is most interesting is the coming together of sectors to explore partnerships needed to turn a scientific discovery into a viable therapeutic option. Learn more and be a part of this first-of-its-kind effort: http://www.partneringforcures.org.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Jeff Kindler, Anthony Fauci, Kathy Giusti, Michael Milken among featured speakers at Partnering for Cures

Philanthropists, Medical Research Foundations, and Industry Leaders Gather in New York for Inaugural Partnering for Cures Meeting
First-of-its-kind meeting designed to forge collaborations needed to accelerate the pace of therapeutic development

(November 5, 2009) WASHINGTON, DC – Hundreds of medical research leaders, investors, and decision-makers are coming together at the inaugural Partnering for Cures meeting to explore innovative approaches to pursuing high-risk, long-term investments that could lead to therapeutic breakthroughs.

This first-of-its-kind meeting, to be held December 1-3 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City, brings together innovators from philanthropy, medical research foundations, and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries with the goal of forging collaborations necessary to develop new medical solutions.

The meeting is designed to facilitate informed investments and cultivate relationships by featuring panels that spotlight solutions to decades-long challenges facing medical research, adapting the outcomes-oriented approach of investor conferences, and building on the networking opportunities at industry "partnering" meetings. Speakers include:

Decision-makers from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries:
  • Jeffrey Kindler, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Pfizer
  • The Hon. Billy Tauzin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
  • The Hon. James Greenwood, President and CEO, Biotechnology Industry Organization
  • Garry Neil, M.D., Corporate Vice President, Corporate Office of Science and Technology, Johnson & Johnson
Venture philanthropy leaders:
  • Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Debi Brooks, Co-Founder, Michael J. Fox Foundation
  • Kathy Giusti, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
  • Hala Moddelmog, President and Chief Executive Officer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Philanthropists who are transforming the medical research enterprise
  • Michael Milken, Chairman, FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions; Chairman, The Milken Institute
  • Debra Black, Founder and Chair, Melanoma Research Alliance
And, some of the most forward-thinking leaders in medical research:
  • Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D., Co-Director, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
  • Seth Berkley, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
  • Anne Wojcicki, Co-Founder and President, 23andMe
Philanthropic investment in medical research, though it accounts for only three percent of overall research spending – relatively small compared to government and industry funding –plays an essential role in catalyzing high-risk research, far beyond its proportion of funding. But, it requires a significant investment in effort, resources, and time to find the right research partner. Partnering for Cures streamlines this process by connecting similar-minded organizations and sharing best practices, further amplifying the transformative impact of medical research philanthropy.

Partnering for Cures is convened by FasterCures, the Washington, D.C.-based center of the Milken Institute, that's committed to breaking down the barriers that exist across the research continuum – from basic research to drug development – to clear the path to faster medical progress.

Complete information about Partnering for Cures, including a full program and an up-to-date list of all speakers, is available at www.partneringforcures.org. Credentialed press wishing to cover Partnering for Cures, please email Cecilia Arradaza, FasterCures Communications Director, at carradaza@fastercures.org.