Why Open Source Drug Discovery Needs A “Champion”

Sean Ekins | Collaborative Chemistry | April 5, 2013

Yesterday I attended the Southeast Venture Philanthropy Summit held in Chapel Hill. Attendees included VC, philanthropy types, disease foundations (big and small), bioscience organizations, scientists from all over the country. There was of course the usual 1:1 partnering sessions which I did not attend, instead sitting through panels on personalized medicine, philanthropy, investment in the southeast, diabetes/regenerative medicine, oncology, neuroscience, research, funding and product continuum.
What I learned was the following: Bioscience brings in a staggering  $59bn in NC volume, 237,665 jobs , 23% growth in life science in the last decade. There is also a huge chasm ($100M’s  vs less than a $1M) between the amount of money major disease foundation have at their disposal compared to the ultra rare diseases. It is staggering that some disease foundations can give big pharma huge amounts of money to do research on their diseases. Witness the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation paying Pfizer $58M. This has already been questioned by some. But there is certainly a case here of the haves and have nots..Money talks.