How to speed up development: share work with rivals, say scientists

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

Early stage delays are creating a development 'bottleneck', say Georgia Institute of Technology researchers.
Early stage delays are creating a development 'bottleneck', say Georgia Institute of Technology researchers.

Related tags Clinical trial

Drug developers should add their early-stage discoveries to an open-source database or pay a fine to cut wasted time duplicating results, say researchers.

Sponsors who buy an unsuccessful product from another company to repurpose it for a different disease often lose time repeating basic research. Universities, drug firms and CROs (clinical research organisations) can speed up development and save money by sharing their original research to prevent it being repeated or lost forever, according to a study funded by National Institutes of Health.

"The timeline for commercialization is much longer than most people think. There is so much turmoil and churn within the process,​" said Jerry Thursby, one of the paper’s authors.

Findings are lost when small firms sublicense their inventions to larger companies that can afford to run clinical trials. Similar “information asymmetries​” happen when early work is transferred to CROs, co-author Matthew Higgins told us:

In most cases CROs are contracted for clearly defined tasks versus exploratory development. If a CRO is focused on task X they may very well ignore ancillary discoveries that are outside of the parameters of their contract.​”

Fines for refusal

The scientists suggest patents and inventions destined for eventual therapeutic use be entered in “an open-source translational research database that complements​. […] Reporting into the database could be required by journals and for any research that receives federal funding.”​ If the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes reporting a requirement for any molecule that a firm intends to take into clinical trials, ​this would encourage companies to register their findings early.

When asked if companies will be reluctant to share information they consider commercially confidential, the authors told us they recommend civil fines for non-compliance, as in the case of trial reporting.

Let’s not forget, this is an industry that benefits from significant societal resources committed to basic science and early-stage research in addition to monopoly protection for approved products,​” said Higgins. “Pulling back the curtains a bit may prevent duplicate or triplicate spending in areas of research that have failed.

It may also allow firms to modify their approach, which may improve chances for ultimate success. Such a reporting system may also be beneficial to a firm because if they discover a molecule may be applicable in another area, it gives them a mechanism to identify potential license partners. Likewise, it may also allow potential license partners to find them.​”

Source: Science Translational Medicine
Vol. 6, Issue 250, p. 250fs32, 20 August 2014. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009000

Related news

Show more

Related products

A Guide Through the API Drug Development Pipeline.

A Guide Through the API Drug Development Pipeline.

Content provided by Lonza Small Molecules | 04-Apr-2023 | Insight Guide

With the complexities associated with API and HPAPI drug development, it’s necessary to lean on the experts. With Q&A sections, insights and articles...

The Complete Guide to eRegulatory and eSource

The Complete Guide to eRegulatory and eSource

Content provided by Florence Healthcare | 01-Apr-2023 | Insight Guide

Shifting to eRegulatory and eSource workflows is a requirement for clinical trial sites to continue to scale and grow their studies. This guide is designed...

How Sponsors Reduce Chaos in Decentralized Trials

How Sponsors Reduce Chaos in Decentralized Trials

Content provided by Florence Healthcare | 08-Mar-2023 | Insight Guide

89% of research sponsors currently use and expect to continue the use of decentralized technologies and methods, according to our state of the industry...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more