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A Cure for the Drug Discovery Gap

A Cure for the Drug Discovery Gap

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Frank Douglas, a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, explores one idea for catalyzing medical research to help bridge the gap between the laboratory discovery and treatment option.
Frank Douglas, a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, explores one idea for catalyzing medical research to help bridge the gap between the laboratory discovery and treatment option.

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Published by: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on Mar 12, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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consists of 
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KAUFFMAN Thoughtbook
E x c E r p t f r o m
Fourth in an ongoing series, the
Kauffman Thoughtbook 2009 
captures what we arethinking, learning, and discovering about education, entrepreneurship, and advancinginnovation. This collection of more than forty essays is written by the talented KauffmanFoundation associates, partners, and experts who are pursuing the principles and visionset by our founder, Ewing Kauffman.REQUEST YOUR COMPLIMENTARY COPY AT
©2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. All rights reserved.
a Cure or the Drug Discovery Gp
FRanK l. DoUGlaS, P.D., m.D.
Prtr, Pur Tc Vturs; Fudr, mIT Ctr r Bidic Ivti;Sir Fw, ewig mri Ku Fudti
Recently, the Kauman Foundation launched a new ocus on translational medicine—the process o turning scientic breakthroughs in the lab into new drugs and other patient therapies, oten delivered by startup companies.Despite the growing sophistication and promise o health care technologyresearch, ewer and ewer breakthrough ideas are nding their way out o research institutions and into the hands o experienced clinicians and medical  product development teams. Patients suer as a result, because promisingresearch and innovation are not being translated into new treatments.Progress is being stifed by a crucial gap in the current research and development pipeline: expertise and unding or early-stage innovations. Manyo the biotech startups, academic institutions, and government research centersthat perorm critical early-stage work do not have the resources to move theirbreakthroughs urther along the commercialization pipeline. At the same time,large pharmaceutical companies and venture capitalists are reluctant to investin early-stage research that lacks proven market potential and requires a longer period o time to produce returns on investment. And ederal investment inmedical research is tight—the 2008 budget or the National Institutes o Health isonly about 1 percent higher than its 2007 budget.
Excerpt ro
Kauman Thoughtbook 2009
. ©2008 by the Ewig mrio Ku oudtio. all rights reserved.
In the ollowing essay, Frank Douglas, a senior ellow at the KaumanFoundation and a physician with extensive experience in pharmaceutical innovationand research, sheds light on the lengthy timerame between breakthroughdiscoveries and new treatment options. He also explores one idea or catalyzingmedical research to help bridge the gap between the laboratory and the bedside.
Severl yers go, I couthored (with Peter Tol d mlcol mcKezie o the strtegy cosultig fr, moitor)  rticle or the edicie d busiessgzie
In Vivo.
Our rticle tckled the questio o how to sped  billiodollrs i reserch d developet. atthe tie, the highest yerly R&D budgetog phrceuticl copies ws$547 illio. ad ost copies,regrdless o the size o their budgets,spired to produce two discoveriescpble o beig pproved by theDa s  “ew cheicl etity” ech yer. more th te yers lter, i spite o R&D budgets tht routiely rge betwee $3 billio d $8 billio  yer, ewcopies hve bee ble to rech this bechrk.This lck o productivity hs resulted i  ixture o public costertio dore vocl clls or ctio by goveret gecies. The decipherig o thehu geoe eightee yers go icresed hope tht  geoics revolutiowould ccelerte the discovery o ew drugs. Yet ew geoe-bsed drugs hvede it to rket.Why this dely i gettig potetil therpies ro the lbortory to the ptiet?noted ecooist muel Trjteberg described two tieres tht re crucilto relizig the potetil o  udetlly ew techology. Oe is the tie
- a Cure or the Drug Discovery Gp -
This lck o productivityhs resulted i  ixtureo public costertiod ore vocl clls orctio by goveretgecies.

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