NEW YORK (December 14, 2010) – More than 800 leaders spanning all sectors of the medical research enterprise – including pharmaceutical and biotechnology executives, academics, policymakers, nonprofit research foundations, and philanthropists – today convened with the shared goal of working together to accelerate the discovery and development of new medical solutions at the second annual Partnering for Cures meeting.
FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, convened this two-day meeting to bring together nontraditional allies to jump-start agreements and program development necessary to turn scientific breakthroughs into effective therapies for patients.
“We are at a critical inflection point in current discussions within the biomedical research establishment about what actions need to be taken to push science toward cures where possible,” said Margaret Anderson, executive director, FasterCures. “Patients need to know that we, the collective ‘we’, are doing everything we can to get new preventive, diagnostic and treatment options through the pipeline and into the clinic to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.“
In a plenary session, News From the FDA: Drug Development in the Age of Targeted Therapy, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Janet Woodcock, M.D., presented a guidance for industry codevelopment of two or more unmarketed investigational drugs for use in combination to treat a variety of illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases, among other important topics.
“To truly advance medical progress and see the return on our national investment in the sciences, we need to seamlessly pass the baton of innovation from one sector to the next -- from the laboratory bench, through the regulatory finish line and into the hands of patients,” said Commissioner Hamburg.
With 16 panels and more than 80 speakers addressing, the meeting addressed mission-critical issues in the life sciences – from innovation to regulation, from drug repositioning to de-risking investments, and from translational research to data networks. A separate track featured 31 innovator presentations: tangible case studies of cross-sector programs that are potentially transformative and scalable across diseases and sectors.
The meeting also featured a customized partnering system that connected participants from different sectors who shared similar goals or had complementary activities. The system allowed participants to schedule free, one-on-one consultations with pioneers in the field.
In 2009, participants at the inaugural Partnering for Cures meeting said it was "game-changing." A year later, that meeting has yielded tangible results including the development of a preclinical stage cancer program collaboration, the creation of innovative mechanisms to advance cancer research and a matching grant program between a pharmaceutical company and a medical research foundation.
Videos, photos, and session summaries are available online at http://www.partneringforcures.org/.