How Crowdfunding And Open Source Research Will Fight Cancer

Jess Bolluyt | Tech Cheat Sheet | October 4, 2014

...A researcher named Isaac Yonemoto is applying some of the concepts of open source software initiatives to cancer research. Yonemoto is undertaking Project Marilyn, a campaign to develop a patent-free anticancer drug. The project resurrects research into an anticancer compound called 9-deoxysibiromycin, or 9DS, which has been shown to be effective against several types of cancer in early tests. Project Marilyn also seeks to change the way that drugs are researched and released. The project proposal explains:

“The social goal is to demonstrate that applied pharmaceutical research can be funded using the crowdfunding model and that the results can be released to the public domain, unpatented. Ultimately, the purpose of the social goal is to encourage manufacturers to produce drugs inexpensively, improving access to these drugs.”

Sibiromycin, 9DS’s parent compound, was originally researched in the 1970s by Siberian scientists who thought that it had potential for cancer treatment. “It is a toxic compound produced by soil bacteria and functions by arresting DNA replication. Therefore, it has potential as an anticancer chemotherapeutic,” explains the Project Marilyn proposal...