About FasterCures


FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is an action tank driven by a singular goal -- to save lives by speeding up and improving the medical research system.

To do this, we must save time in the way we:

  • search for discoveries
  • turn discoveries into therapies
  • bring therapies to patients

Despite the human and financial capital flowing through our healthcare system, the fact remains that more than 100 million Americans suffer from cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, and others for which there are still no cures - and, in many cases, few meaningful treatment options.

At nearly 15 years and $1 Billion to bring ONE new therapy from lab to market, the current system is failing us. 

We put the interests of the patient at the center of everything we do. Our programs objectively figure out what’s working and what isn’t in the research ecosystem, and share that knowledge so that every sector – and every patient – can benefit.


Speeding up the process benefits all of us, especially patients.

Investing in medical research is investing in our future; we must make it a national priority. Medical research offers hope to patients and their families. We need the research system to work better and faster.

To do this, we need patients as partners -- participating in research and shaping the process. At FasterCures, we are determined to pave a path of meaningful engagement between patients and every sector of the research enterprise.

FACILITATE COLLABORATION Too often in medical research, knowledge and data are being pursued in parallel and sectors work in complete silos, wasting time and resources. Each year at our Partnering for Cures (P4C) meeting, we bring together leaders from all sectors of medical research to find nontraditional partners who can help them get things done. Through P4C, we've created a venue to break down these sillos and collectively figure out how to pool human and financial capital to address common challenges. One emerging model for medical research partnerships is the consortium. In 2013 alone, 46 consortia were formed. Our Consortia-pedia program identifies elements for success, scales up models for greater impact, and creates a framework for evaluating returns on investment.

FOSTER INNOVATION Our scientific knowledge has never been deeper and yet, our need for cures has never been greater. Innovative solutions that cut across diseases are vital to translating research into life-saving therapies. Big, transformative ideas in medical research are coming from small but mighty disease research foundations. The way they fund and find research are bucking traditional processes. The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN) is a FasterCures program that convenes 60 forward-thinking foundations to learn from each other and share their novel solutions with the rest of the medical research system. We must take what they're learned to fix the research system so that all diseases can have a chance for an effective therapy.

ENSURE EFFICIENCY A 21st century bullet train on 19th century steam engine tracks can only go so fast. But that’s the system we have for medical research. FasterCures is uniquely positioned to address antiquated policies that keep us from propelling forward. We create unbiased, analytical assessments of some of R&D’s most thorny issues—from intellectual property to data sharing, alternative financing models to translational research—providing a roadmap for action. We cultivate a policy environment that is innovative, efficient, cost-effective, and patient-driven by: 

  • Advocating for strong federal investment in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Developing opportunities for patient perspectives to inform regulatory and coverage decisions.
  • Creating a reimbursement environment that fosters innovation and ensures life-saving therapies are accessible to patients.

EXPAND INVESTMENT When we invest our money, we look for the best ROI; when we donate it, shouldn’t we look for the best ROP (Return on Philanthropy)? An objective lens for evaluating impact is vital. Philanthropic dollars could fund high-risk research that has the potential for high rewards, support collaborative teams of scientists, and incentivize young researchers to pursue outcomes-oriented scientific challenges. But impactful giving requires an in-depth understanding of how a new medicine gets from discovery to the patient and a framework for evaluating outcomes. This is what our Philanthropy Advisory Service (PAS) does best.

FasterCures Impact >>

FasterCures Programs >>

Unknown3The Milken Institute is a publicly supported, nonpartisan, independent think tank whose work makes a difference in the lives of people worldwide by helping create a more open and efficient global economy. Visit the Milken Institute's website.