Accelerating Innovation & Drug Development
PDE staff participated in an interactive Webinar to discuss a new drug development model with the potential to accelerate the process. The event was sponsored by The Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF), Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Scott Cook & Signe Ostby Foundation. Our report of the event-- “Developing Cures with Less Time & Capital: A New Research Model to Accelerate Drug Development”--follows:
The growing gap between academia and the pharmaceutical industry means that new ideas take too long to go from concept to reality. The victims are the patients who could have been helped if only the existing research were developed more efficiently. In an effort to fight this problem, the MRF developed a new model known as Accelerated Research Collaboration (ARC). Under the ARC model, researchers can share expertise in real time rather than having to wait months or years for new discoveries to be published. This approach can result in faster drug development times in addition to the decreased costs that come from a streamlined process.
Why is the ARC approach not more common?
First, scientists are often reluctant to share their findings before publication because their ideas might be stolen. To protect scientists who wish to collaborate, the MRF files patent applications for their research. This way, the scientists can share their ideas without worrying that someone else might take the credit.
Second, the disconnect between academia and the pharmaceutical industry means that research is not always performed with a practical focus. The MRF addresses this issue by funding and managing targeted studies and tests to ensure the viability of new products in actual patient therapy.
Finally, implementation is difficult, especially when it challenges the status quo. However, the MRF’s efforts to fight multiple sclerosis have attracted investors including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Scott Cook & Signe Ostby Foundation because they recognize the potential of the ARC approach not only to benefit medical research but also for broader applications.
To learn more insights shared at this event, click here.
[Reported by Yaphi Berhanu]