Aligning Incentives to Fight Neglected Diseases

Chris Colwell and I recently wrote BIO white paper titled “Ideas to Encourage Innovation for Diseases Without a Market”

Here’s the problem it explores: on average a drug or biologic costs about $1.2 billion to bring to market. But when a disease mainly affects the developing world (e.g., leishmaniasis or dengue haemorrhagic  fever ), it’s difficult to near impossible for a company to recoup its investment costs for developing the drug.

So there is a need for new drugs, but no way for the companies to fund their R&D. What to do?

Some creative thinking is needed about how to provide companies the incentives they need to do the R&D to produce drugs or biologics that treat these diseases.

Some incentives that have been proposed and tried include – but aren’t limited to:

With each idea there are both advantages and challenges or limitations. As always, the devil is in the details. That is, if an idea is implemented in a certain way – it may be a resounding success; however, if it is implemented differently, it could be a failure.

Our paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of several incentives. I hope that the paper will help to inform the dialogue that’s taking place and move it forward.

Read the paper

Learn more about the topic of neglected diseases


All the buzz about biotech

The convention hosted a whirlwind of activity and major announcements – and now the work begins to prove the exponential effect that the event inspires. The majority of media coverage focused on states competing for biotech attention and building up their life sciences community to make them more attractive for companies, investors and others looking to develop their biotech business. Countries, likewise, came out in full force to create their own buzz. And individual companies participated in more than 14,500 meetings to discuss potential collaborations and deals to extend beyond the life of any one single event.

And that is the beauty of the world’s largest biotechnology event – we will soon begin to see the impact that four days of life sciences networking, deal making and partnering efforts will have on the overall industry.  Ready, set, innovate…