Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business (Part 9) - Collaborate better

Collaborate better

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New insights into the nature of creativity emphasize the value of interacting with different people with different ideas for non-linear breakthroughs.

The purpose of academic (and even industrial) research is to bring new knowledge into being.  Communicating that knowledge in a manner that is consistent with the “digital” age is where CDD specifically, and the Internet more generally, really helps.

Currently, new learning generated in academia (and other innovative groups) is traditionally shared using one of three mechanisms:  (1) traditional publishing or (2) traditional networking or (3) patenting.  Today the Internet and internet-based technologies are emerging as a qualitatively better way to collaborate.  Traditional publishing is slow and relies largely on active searching by interested researchers to uncover newly published information.  Traditional networking is a “word-of-mouth” exercise, somewhat facilitated by email, but limited to and bounded by one’s own circle of contacts.

The Internet allow qualitatively different types of collaboration, and when sensitive drug discovery IP exists or may be created, a secure platform is required.

CDD is enabling a new paradigm in the communication of pharmaceutical discovery research in academia, and ultimately between academia and industry.  CDD’s tools amplify communications, create new connections between groups and individuals.  Collaborative, web-based tools extract the greatest value from archived and mined data.  By allowing information to be collaboratively mined, different brains can add complementary value to projects.

CDD tools facilitate collaborative drug discovery through (selective, controlled) sharing data both within and between groups of researchers.  Very often, the scientist(s) who originally generate the data provides an initial substantial driving force.  CDD is observing a large number of researchers working with rare, orphan, neglected infectious disease, or for the subset published results (even if the potentially may be commercially valuable), who wish to openly share their data with their colleagues in other groups around the world. This approach leverages both the strongest altruistic desire of academic researchers for recognition of their personal contributions to science in addition to their more pragmatic quest for continued funding in a “publish or perish” world.  Traditional publishing is traditional and will not disappear…but there is one Internet, one universal publishing platform, and it is accessible by everyone, for perpetuity, for free. Web-based software also adds additional value to data beyond traditional publications.  Relative to traditional publishing, one can make a logical, reasoned argument that publishing data on CDD Public and/or other clearinghouses with powerful software capabilities provides equal or greater (or at least complementary) value.

For the vast majority of researchers working on IP sensitive or pre-publication, pre-patent, pre-Pubchem/ChEMBL/CDD, it is comforting to know with existing technology they can keep their data private in a vault and still leverage the results of collaborators privately sharing data and community members openly sharing data, all within a secure environment.   Perhaps later, after publications or patents, they may wish to share data more broadly or perhaps they may wish to keep their data private for perpetuity.

Using “push” and “pull” techniques, “agents” and related automated tools, researchers are finding data they never knew existed, colleagues they never heard of, and forging new relationships with data, information, knowledge, individuals and teams.   CDD can passively or actively help make useful connections.  We are particularly interested in making connections leading to more interesting, more innovative projects, grants, papers, patents, and contracts.

A more cost-effective mechanism now exists to integrate complex drug discovery IP, assets, and services. Underlying capabilities to elegantly archive, mine and (selectively) collaboration around large amounts of complex drug discovery information provides a robust foundation for a more cost-effective method (and therefore more cost-effective business model) for innovative drug discovery.

Current and traditional communications are gated by the rates of diffusion between individuals.  CDD enables shortcuts between individuals and groups in minutes that would otherwise typically take years to complete in the traditional publication or patent cycles.  Instantaneous, secure web-based collaboratively platforms provide new ways to collaborate to leverage all the relevant, available data and information.  Academic groups around the world can operate, coordinate and collaborate closely with their industrial counterparts (and vice-versa).

Collaborative approaches increase the likelihood of critical new discoveries in biopharmaceutical research by uncovering new leads, selecting the best candidate to advance, increasing the understanding of performance profiles for candidates, identifying new indications for existing drugs, shortening the time and cost of research, and thereby generating higher-value intellectual property.

Today, for the first time, it does not matter if researchers are in the same room or across the globe, there are ways to the minute to “allow groups with diverse IP/data requirements to work together, as if one.”  Collaborate better:

Read Part 1: Collaboration as the key for turning around the drug discovery business – The Problem

Read Part 2: Collaboration as the key for turning around the drug discovery business – The Hypothesis

Read Part 3: Collaboration as the key for turning around the drug discovery business – A Solution

Read Part 4: Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business – Collaboration and Innovation

Read Part 5: Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business – A Monte Carlo Simulation

Read Part 6: Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business – Technology can Make Things Easier

Read Part 7:  Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business: Collaboration = Leverage

Read Part 8:  Collaboration as the key to turning around the drug discovery business – Standards

P.S.  Beyond collaboration as a more enlightened approach to science, here are the top 5 practical reasons collaborative scientists rock with 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!

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