Linking scientific teams and their projects sounds like an obvious, excellent idea. Mutually beneficial exchange of information offers a means of accelerating the efficiency of drug discovery. At CDD over the last 8 years we’ve been obsessed with engineering a collaborative, web-based platform that allows anyone to leverage other scientists’ drug discovery results while maintaining intellectual property rights.
However….given the mix of commercial and altruistic motives that has driven drug discovery research (and researchers) from day one, how will this really work in practice? There are sicknesses to heal and early deaths to avoid, but there is also money to be made. Can leading researchers effectively collaborate while maximizing the intellectual property rights required for commercialization?
What is the analogy to the healthy, efficient mix of open source and commercial software with similar, underlying altruistic and market drivers, when the currency is valuable scientific data in lieu of code? Can advanced technology allow anyone (with commercial and/or altruistic drivers) to confidently, confidentially, selectively, and ideally easily share data within their natural workflow(s)?
The answer is YES, but with some caveats. First you need a collaborative mindset that appreciates the leverage gained by collaborating with others. Second you need to appropriately use technologies that make collaborations work better – fortunately, rapid progress has occurred in this hyper-competitive field. With the enlightened use of collaborative technologies, more opportunities are realized because everyone with complementary capabilities is on the same page, to the minute. Complex collaborations scale.
Efficiency is possible with a nuanced appreciation of the leverage obtained from initiating and executing successful collaborations. Collaboration = Leverage.
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:
This blog is authored by members of the CDD Vault community. CDD Vault is a hosted drug discovery informatics platform that securely manages both private and external biological and chemical data. It provides core functionality including chemical registration, structure activity relationship, chemical inventory, and electronic lab notebook capabilities!
CDD Vault: Drug Discovery Informatics your whole project team will embrace!