Thursday, July 19, 2012

New cross-sector deal-making tools and resources on TRAIN Central Station

by Kristin Schneeman, Program Director, FasterCures

Nonprofit foundations in our TRAIN network are perhaps more concerned than most folks about not “reinventing the wheel,” not spending time and resources learning things and making mistakes that others have already made. Financial and human capital is especially precious at these organizations, and inefficiency has significant consequences for the patients they serve. We have always featured on TRAIN Central Station resources that groups have shared with us that they feel others can benefit from having as a starting point for their own work.

We’re pleased to announce that we now have available on the site a treasure trove of new tools and resources, shared by participants in a workshop we held in June on “The Nuts and Bolts of Cross-Sector Dealmaking.” This cache includes template agreements of all sorts; due diligence guides; publications on collaborative models, venture philanthropy royalties, and charitable investing; and much more.

Among the documents and resources available are:
  • The master agreement between the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute and the 15 academic institutions that are part of its consortium;
  • The Chordoma Foundation’s guidelines and agreement for $10,000 prizes for the creation, validation, and deposit of new chordoma cell lines;
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Royalties and Their Monetization but Were Afraid to Ask,” a new publication by the law firm Schaner & Lubitz;
  • A set of model legal documents for venture capital investments put together by the National Venture Capital Association, a window into the priorities of companies and investors with whom foundations may be interested in partnering.
 This is just a sampling of the more than 50 new tools and resources available. We hope you’ll find these and the others available on TRAIN Central Station useful models for your own efforts. If you have a resource, internal or external, that you would like to contribute or recommend to the community, we hope you will send it to us at!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bipartisan Washington Delivers (a true story)

“Bipartisan” is not heard often in Washington lately. But policy makers from both parties recently united in their recognition of the importance of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With strong bipartisan support, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which President Obama signed into law this week.

The bill reauthorizes more than $6 billion in user fees that the FDA collects from the drug and medical device industries over the next five years to fund a share of the agency's review of drugs and medical devices.

The bill passed in the Senate 92-4 and passed in the House by a voice vote. Why the overwhelming bipartisan support? As Sen. Lamar Alexander pointed out in his remarks on the Senate floor, half of Americans take at least one prescription drug each day, and “we rely upon the Food and Drug Administration to keep those medicines safe and effective, which is what this legislation is about.”

While these user fees will pay for specific, designated functions of the FDA, they will not be used to supplement the general budget of the FDA, which regulates thousands of products that each American uses every day – from toothpaste to infant formula, and microwave ovens to over-the-counter drugs. If Congress agrees that it is imperative to fund the crucial work of the FDA through this legislation, we hope the same bipartisan coalition will support an increase in FDA authorizations in FY2013 to perform the rest of its critical functions.

We’re tipping our hat to our Members of Congress for recognizing that the FDA strengthens our biomedical research and development system, fosters innovation,and creates jobs – and for proving that they can indeed rally around policies that truly matter.