For more | By the numbers: 6 months of 21st Century Cures | Find the tools you need to improve cross-sector collaboration
July 20, 2017
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Consortium crowdsources research on complex diseases
Nine drugmakers and six universities are partnering with the nonprofit Structural Genomics Consortium to share unpublished research data, protocols and experimental samples from studies on Huntington's and other diseases. The participating researchers have pledged not to file for patents and to publish study results only in open-access journals, but some funders can determine which compounds are prioritized and can file for resulting patents.
Wired online (7/17) 
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For more: Using FasterCures' Consortia-pedia, you can view the profiles of nearly 500 research consortia. Filter your search by disease category or type of research to find a collaboration in your area.
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News from FasterCures
By the numbers: 6 months of 21st Century Cures
By the numbers: 6 months of 21st Century Cures
More than six months have gone by since the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. FasterCures worked closely with Congress, federal agencies and the advocacy community throughout the legislation's journey to the president's desk, and we continue to assess its effect on the biomedical innovation system. Earlier this year, we debuted the 21st Century Cures Tracker to monitor the implementation of the key provisions relevant to biomedical research and innovation. The tracker allows you to filter by status, title, and various tags, letting you research the topics that matter most to you. Read our blog to learn about implementation activity to date.
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Find the tools you need to improve cross-sector collaboration
Find the tools you need to improve cross-sector collaboration
Science is increasingly complex and requires cross-sector, multi-disciplinary collaboration to make progress. FasterCures compiled a variety of templates, publications, and other resources from collaboration conveners across sectors to guide these efforts. These resources are housed on TRAIN Central Station, the online platform for venture philanthropy in medical research, where foundations that fund research share best practices, exchange ideas, and find relevant tools and resources. This newest toolkit offers resources to streamline the planning and execution of collaborative initiatives by foundations.
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Science and Technology
Vaccines might be key to fighting drug-resistant infections
GlaxoSmithKline Vice President Helen Steel said during a recent conference that 200 programs by drugmakers to develop new antibiotics were unsuccessful, and some drugmakers and funders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are prioritizing vaccine development to combat antimicrobial-resistant infections. Studies have shown vaccines tend to reduce the use of antibiotics, and scientists say their use rarely leads to resistant microbes.
Nature (free content) (7/19) 
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Scientists study diseases among genetically distinct communities
Hundreds of subpopulations across South Asia may have genetically distinct medical conditions, as cultural norms promote endogamy, or marriage within the community, according to a study published in Nature Genetics. The researchers intend to map and study the genetic basis of diseases prevalent in different ethnic groups and catalog recessive disease mutations.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/17) 
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Alzheimer's disease drug pipeline fills
Twenty-seven potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease are in Phase III clinical testing and eight are in Phase II trials, according to ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer's. "The more we learn about the underlying Alzheimer's pathology, the closer we get to a cure for a disease that is an enormous burden on patients, caregivers and global health systems," said RA2 founding member David Morgan.
HealthDay News (7/18) 
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NIH study findings on HIV infection process may lead to new drug targets
A study by NIH researchers pinpoints a crucial stage in the HIV infection process involving the activation of transmembrane protein 16F, which could lead to the development of treatments that block transmission during the early phases. The research data was published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
Medical News Today (7/17) 
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Finance and Economics
Conn. hospital to build Parkinson's center with $1.2M grant
The Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, Conn., has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation to build the first National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence in the state. The center will be among only 40 Centers of Excellence throughout the world, and the funds will go toward research, clinical trials and services to help improve patients' lives.
Hartford Business Journal (Conn.) (7/19) 
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Biotech on track for strong 2017
Venture capital firms invested $1.876 billion in 93 biotechnology firms during the second quarter of 2017, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights, following $2.821 billion in VC in the first quarter. "If you look at the total dollars for just the first two quarters, we're on pace for an extremely strong 2017 that has been buoyed by some of these megadeals we saw in Q1 and Q2," said PwC's Greg Vlahos.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (7/13) 
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Policy and Regulation
FDA streamlining, modernizing hiring process
The FDA has struggled to meet staffing needs as industry recruits top talent and the products before the agency become more complex, Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb wrote in a blog post. He is implementing a pilot project led by Melanie Keller, of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, to improve the agency's hiring process and more closely align hiring with the FDA's scientific objectives.
Regulatory Focus (7/17) 
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For more: FasterCures believes that improving FDA's hiring authorities and policies is imperative for the agency to accomplish its lifesaving work. Learn more in our FDA workforce brief.
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Society and Ethics
WHO: Achieving global health goals would cost $58 a person per year
Meeting the United Nations' health-related Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 could prevent 97 million premature deaths and add more than eight years to life expectancy in some countries, but donors must invest $371 billion, or about $58 per person per year, to achieve those goals, according to a World Health Organization report in The Lancet Global Health. Meeting a less ambitious goal would require investment of $274 billion, or $41 per person each year.
Reuters (7/17) 
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FasterCures is an action tank that works across sectors and diseases to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the medical research enterprise. FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is nonpartisan and independent of interest groups.
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