FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, convened its fifth annual Partnering for Cures conference last November in New York, bringing together more than 1,000 of the most forward-thinking innovators across all sectors of the medical research enterprise. Designed to facilitate the collaboration and sharing of knowledge needed to speed up the time it takes to turn discoveries into therapies, Partnering for Cures featured intensive solutions-focused dialogue and networking.
Four plenary sessions and 12 panel discussions focused on new initiatives, collaborations and solutions in medical research. View the full agenda.
Moderated by FasterCures' Margaret Anderson, the panelists, whose opinions ranged from the public to the private sectors and across international boundaries, all agreed that the key to another "big science" breakthrough on the scale of the Human Genome Project hinged on wide collaboration that could marshal the best of the scientific community toward a common goal. "The engine of discovery in scientific research is still the individual investigator," said Marc Tessier-Lavigne of The Rockefeller University. "But big science needs collaboration that pools talents and resources."
While investors are enjoying a healthy return on investment, the bioscience industry as a whole needs to attract much more investment capital to maintain its momentum. There are worrying signs that this isn't happening, explained moderator Michael Milken of the Milken Institute and FasterCures. "The promise of the biotech/bioscience industry is so dramatic that it's hard to believe how relatively small this industry is."
If there is one belief that unites the panelists in this session, it's that "business as usual" does not work anymore. Kicking off the second day of Partnering for Cures, the speakers on the five-person panel, moderated by Josh Sommer of the Chordoma Foundation, shared a common goal to transform the way the health care and bioscience industries operate through innovative thinking.
What is Big Data and how exactly can it help health care? Is it just a buzz phrase with little practical value or is it the miracle solution that will revolutionize medicine? Moderator Lesa Mitchell of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation posed these questions and more to a six-person panel during the final plenary session of Partnering for Cures.
Innovative Cross-Sector Research Collaborations
FasterCures was also proud to feature 30 presentations by some of the most innovative cross-sector medical research collaborations in the field. Watch them describe their efforts to commercialize early-stage discoveries, share data, develop novel research tools, repurpose assets and create innovative financial models to drive progress. For example:
- Curious, Inc., a new platform for gathering, exploring and sharing personal data, has partnered with two disease foundations to help their patient communities participate in a new research strategy that promotes data sharing and open access.
- Through the Michael J. Fox Foundation's Parkinson's Disease Data Challenge, researchers sought to develop the best way to benefit patients and clinicians through analysis of objective, passively collected data.
- The Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT) platform, a joint project of Prize4Life and Neurological Clinical Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, serves as a collaboration model among academia, pharma and nonprofits by amassing more than 8,600 de-identified subject-records from 18 pharmaceutical and academic clinical trials into a single, harmonized data set.
- The Project Data Sphere initiative, an independent initiative of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer's Life Sciences Consortium, provides an easy-to-use database that allows companies, institutions and researchers to responsibly share, access and analyze control arms of historical cancer Phase III clinical trial data sets to accelerate oncology research.
View videos and slides from all 30 presentations.
- The RPM Report: Orphan Drug Economics: What's The Right Price For Rare Disease Drugs? by Kate Rawson
- NIMH Director's Blog: P4C : Time = Lives by Tom Insel
- Chemo Brain Fog: Going Forward - #P4C2013 and Epic Beginnings by AnneMarie Ciccarella
- Sage Bionetworks blog: Stephen Friend At FasterCures 2013 by John Wilbanks
Be sure to check out photos of attendees taken at the P4C Photo Booth!