Thursday, June 9, 2011

TIME Magazine and The Chronicle of Philanthropy Spotlight FasterCures’ Efforts to Step Up Medical Progress

By Margaret Anderson, Executive Director, FasterCures

Speeding the pace of medical research by strengthening the connections between the people who can make it happen is what FasterCures all is about. We look for big ideas in small spaces and encourage financial and strategic risk-taking to turn discoveries in the lab into cures for disease. Among our greatest privileges has been our work with and development of The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN) program, a new class of medical foundations known as “venture philanthropies” – organizations of a philanthropic nature that operate in venture-capital mode – which are bringing a sense of urgency to the rest of the medical research community. By measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of a medical charity’s scientific outcomes, dollars can better be directed to projects and organizations making the greatest progress.

This model of cure entrepreneurship has begun to take root across diseases and sectors, and both TIME magazine and The Chronicle of Philanthropy have recently taken notice.

This week’s TIME magazine features the article “Check Your Charity!” about the lack of market discipline in the medical philanthropy space and the push to better measure and compete on scientific outcomes. The piece highlights organizations that are applying a results-oriented approach to their work, like the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, and the Melanoma Research Alliance – all part of the FasterCures TRAIN program. “Critically, FasterCures has sought to link these evolving groups . . . . It's trying to spread best practices across a host of health care groups, a break from the past in which researchers and organizations shielded their work to protect their grant money and intellectual property.”

A recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article calls out other TRAIN members such as The Chordoma Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, for their innovative approaches to accelerating medical progress. The piece notes that “FasterCures amplifies the work of groups that have taken risks and been successful;” and that “by getting organizations and companies that are used to competing to instead work together, FasterCures hopes to break down walls that may slow the achievement of medical discoveries that could save lives.”

Check out the full articles here:

“A Think Tank Seeks to Accelerate Medical Science’s Search for Cures”
“Check Your Charity!”

For more on TRAIN organizations, initiatives, and best practices go to TRAIN Central Station, the online portal for and from venture philanthropy in medical research.

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