Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business (Part 10) – Learning from eBay, NASDAQ, Airlines, & Hollywood
Collaborative Drug Discovery Analogies
Airline businesses provide an economic multiplier effect for all users that greatly exceeds the margins of the airlines. Many airlines have little to no margins, but it is hard to imagine a modern society without convenient air travel today.
In Hollywood, typically 3 or more partners work together to bring a visionary blockbuster to market, in contrast to the historical approach for blockbuster drugs.
On the Internet, eBay (and related platforms) created whole industries overnight – specifically by creating value beyond that realized by eBay to a whole generation of traders of everything from antiques to cars. This clearly demonstrated the democratizing and catalytic role that web-based technologies can have on markets.
Online platforms outside the drug discovery industry have demonstrated that transactional friction can be minimized online.
For our industry, the key emerging question is how can consortia of industry, academia, foundation, and government intellectual property guardians evolve a mechanism that allows similar efficiencies in drug discovery?
An ideal, web-based ecosystem would be inclusive of all players and address both scientific and business inefficiencies.
Collaborative Drug Discovery Platforms
Innovative tools are available to create a more efficient marketplace. Platforms for more effective small molecule drug discovery can benefit all projects.
The driver for each drug asset, when considered from a micro-economic perspective, is straightforward and simple. Advance each drug candidate as optimally as possible, with minimum capital expended (both for the successes and failure).
From a marco-economic perspective, technology platforms are the solution for making all the drug discovery projects collectively more efficient.
Emerging platforms include Collaborative Drug Discovery (of course), Innocentive, ChemSpider, eMolecules, Assay Depot, Pubchem, and Your Encore. Fortunately, the platforms have complementary business models complementing the need for individual molecules to accrue maximum value with minimal cost and risk. Here are a few successful examples:
Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD): CDD takes no ownership of IP, but provides a platform for more efficient drug mining and collaboration with an annual subscription. The model is non-competitive with owners of drug assets (startups, academics, foundations pharmas), entirely complementary (value added). Typical costs are pennies on the dollar of the overall asset relative to the value added. CDD will occasionally and selectively team on grants where the partner owns the drug IP and CDD evolves the platform.
Innocentive: Takes no ownership of IP, brokers awards of gifts from seekers to solvers for a fraction of the cost proportional to the value added. Prize sizes are proportional to the value ($10K-1M).
ChemSpider: Publicly available tools around public data. Value added services for private use of information and tools, plus advertise charged.
eMolecules: Public resource of molecules (publicly available, so not associated with IP). Researchers can use molecules to create IP. eMolecules charges a brokerage fee (to sellers) for the value add of making the buying and selling of molecules more convenient.
Assay Depot: Assay Depot’s public Research Exchange is a fast, easy and free way to find research services and products. Assay Depot provide additional visibility for service providers for a modest fee, and proprietary value-added services for selected buyers.
PubChem: Government sponsored resource. No charge, but only for public data (no IP). Public data and tools can be leveraged to create private IP.
Your Encore: A network of retired and veteran scientists and engineers providing our clients with proven experience to help accelerate their pace of innovation.
For more context on how and why collaboration is the key to turning around the drug discovery business:
And especially read Part 9: Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business – Collaborate Better
P.S. Beyond collaboration as a more enlightened approach to science, here are the top 5 practical reasons collaborative scientists rock with CDD: https://www.collaborativedrug.com/buzz/2011/10/17/5-reasons-why-collaborative-scientists-use-cdd/
You can also download the full series “Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business” by Barry Bunin as a pdf document: