Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Open Innovation in Life Science - Closing the Loop


The first decade of the 21th century has been noted to witness a decline in the pharmaceutical innovation (Kaitin and DiMasi, 2011), with some recent signs of revival (Ward, 2014). According to the Centre for Medicines Research International in the USA, the average success rate of bringing a new drug to the market has declined, since the mid-nineties. Failure occurs predominantly in the later phases of clinical testing, which makes them even more expensive. The business witnessed only 24 new-drug approvals by the United States Food and Drug Administration during 1998 with a $27 billion Research and Development (R&D) cost. However, the industry in 2006 spent $64 billion, for only 13 new drugs, making it to the market (Kaitin and DiMasi, 2011). Some have proposed that the traditional linear model of bioinnovation, is no longer viable, concluding the need for a "fully integrated pharmaceutical networks," (FIPNets/FIPCO) or simply an "ecosystem". In this essay I explore reasons and practicalities of turning to Open Innovation. I also argue a potential enhancement in the quality of input into the earlier phases of drug production, with fungal conservation and bioprospecting as a case in point.

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