The FasterCures Track: Nov/Dec 2013 - Understanding a new model of collaboration

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The FasterCures Track

Consortia-pediaA new model of collaboration is changing biomedical research: consortia come together to create tools, products, and knowledge that help the entire sector. So we set out to create a resource that provides an understanding of how this specific model of collaboration operates and its impact on the biomedical research ecosystem. The result is the Consortia-pedia project, which aims to better understand the breadth and scope of approaches that a wide range of consortia have adopted to bring together non-traditional partners with a shared R&D goal.

Some of the consortia profiled in the Consortia-pedia project also shared their collaborations at Partnering for Cures last month. For example, I-SPY 2, a patient-centered, replicable model to accelerate finding the right drug for the right patient at the right time, gave an Innovator Presentation. And panels included leaders of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and Sage Bionetworks. One panel, “The Art and Science of Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration,” focused entirely on this topic, featuring panelists representing different stakeholders who have initiated, managed, and participated in consortium activities.

One consortium that FasterCures is a member of is United for Medical Research. Be sure to check out the article below about how they are educating the public about the challenges plaguing scientific studies, researchers, and labs.

Our emphasis on collaboration was also highlighted in a recent Harvard Business School case study, “FasterCures: Removing Barriers to Treatments.” The profile focuses on our history, programs to date and their impact, and what's on the horizon. The piece emphasizes how FasterCures works with stakeholders in many sectors to bring about improvements in the medical research system, including our role in connecting organizations with each other.

We look forward to many more productive collaborations in the coming year.

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Margaret Anderson
Executive Director

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FasterCures Program Updates

photos of FasterCures program updates

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Our goal: Stimulate innovative collaborations across all sectors - academia, government, industry, investors, and nonprofits - to speed up the time it takes to get new therapies from the lab to patients.

Partnering for Cures 2013 focuses on collaborative initiatives transforming medical research
photos from Partnering for Cures 2013Our annual Partnering for Cures meeting in New York spotlighted innovative and collaborative solutions that are transforming the medical research system today. More than 1,000 leaders from across sectors in medical research participated in this event, and all were driven by a shared sense of urgency and laser focus on getting things done. The conference, now in its fifth year, featured dynamic expert panels that addressed some of the most critical challenges in science and health – from big science to big data to big capital. And the Innovator Presentations featured 30 cross-sector programs (after the most competitive application process to date). Each 25-minute presentation provided a glimpse into innovation and collaboration that's transforming the R&D ecosystem as we know it. Programs include: a social movement that will build a community of people sharing their health data; a lung cancer master protocol trial that matches companies with the patients whose tumors are most genetically relevant to the therapies they are trying to develop; and a study utilizing the internet, mobile apps, sensors, and links to electronic medical records to collect real-life and real-time data to study risk, prevention, and treatment of heart disease.

Check out what others are saying about P4C:

“This conference is unique in in its ability to bring people from very different backgrounds together to think about ways in which they can work together. Corporations like ours or a large pharmaceutical company alongside philanthropists alongside investors of different types alongside academicians and medical professionals of various types – they're all here trying to find a way to assist something that fascinates them on behalf of patients.” – Robert Urban, Head, Boston Innovation Center, Johnson & Johnson


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Our goal: Improve research processes and develop policies that will better support efficient development and approval of new therapies.

UMR profiles examine how NIH cuts are plaguing U.S. research labs
United for Medical Research logoSequestration cut $1.6 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), preventing hundreds of people from being treated in clinical studies, denying funds for 640 research projects and reducing funds for other studies, and encouraging promising young scientists to seek careers in other countries or other fields. United for Medical Research (UMR), of which FasterCures is a member, details the deleterious effects of research budget cuts in a series of profiles.

Blog: There is no Nobel Prize for managing IP
Robert Cook-DeeganThere is no Nobel Prize for technology licensing or managing intellectual property (IP), writes Robert Cook-Deegan, FasterCures senior fellow, in a recent blog post. The trip to Stockholm is usually reserved for discovery, the first leg in a long road to meaningful innovation. Managing IP is more like serving on a pit crew, he writes. Attention focuses on the essential functions when something goes wrong, and a good outcome is seamless and efficient -- and therefore unsung.

P4C panelists discuss how to reduce drag in IP
photo of IP panel at Partnering for CuresAt the 2013 Partnering for Cures meeting, the panel “Reducing Drag: New Approaches to IP Negotiation and Technology Licensing” was moderated by Robert Cook-Deegan. He posed three questions to the panelists concerning IP negotiation: what would you like to fix, what do you not want to break, and what else should the audience hear. With a panel of voices from industry, patient groups, academia, consulting, and government, the answers were varied and highlighted many issues in IP negotiation faced by all.

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Our goal: Increase patient engagement in research.

Unraveling the mystery of big data
3 plenary bigdataIf there’s one idea that has come to define the future of technology, not just in healthcare but across the economic spectrum, it’s Big Data. But what is Big Data and how exactly can it help? Is it just a buzz phrase with little practical value or is it the miracle solution that will revolutionize medicine? In “Big Data Needs Big Ideas,” moderator Lesa Mitchell, vice president of innovation and networks at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, posed these questions and more to a six-person panel during the final plenary session of Partnering for Cures.

Anderson cites nonprofit role in healthcare innovation
photo of Kathy Giusti and Margaret AndersonAt the 9th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference in Boston, Margaret Anderson took part in the Harvard Business School (HBS) Discussion on the role of nonprofits in healthcare innovation, along with Kathy Giusti of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Joe O'Donnell of Centerplate, and led by Richard Hamermesh, HBS Healthcare Initiative. Anderson cited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as an example of an organization that is playing an increasingly important role in bringing together patients and drug development organizations to rapidly develop novel and effective drugs. During the conference, Michael Milken, chairman of The Milken Institute and founder of FasterCures, gave a keynote address on accelerating medical solutions. And Giusti (at left in photo, with Anderson) received the Personalized Medicine Coalition's Ninth Annual Award for Leadership in Personalized Medicine.

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Our goal: Facilitate greater access to and more strategic allocation of capital to support results-driven medical research.

Giving smarter this giving season
Getting Started and GivingSmarter report covers'Tis the season to take a step back from the year-end rush, reflect, give thanks, and think about where to give back. In medical research, philanthropic giving plays a critical and outsized role in speeding up the process of turning scientific discoveries into new medicines that can improve and save lives. Asking the right questions about where to donate your money and where you can get the greatest return on your philanthropy can make an impact in helping to save time and save lives in the patient community. Not sure where to start? FasterCures’ Philanthropy Advisory Service has developed some guidelines to help those looking to donate to medical research. Our publications Getting Started and Giving Smarter can help with your medical research philanthropic giving decisions.

Tools you can use

We have seen an increase in the number of consortia specifically created to accelerate biomedical research; 2012 was a landmark year with the launch of 51 new consortia. Read more at
chart showing number of new consortia

Until next issue

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