How FasterCures is changing the drug R&D status quo | P4C Connect is now open! | Explore our series on collaboration in medical research
September 22, 2016
FasterCures SmartBrief
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How FasterCures is changing the drug R&D status quo
FasterCures is driving the patient-centricity movement forward by holding partners accountable, asking tough questions and advocating for regulatory reform. "We want to see things move faster and more efficiently, and that requires more conversations between all stakeholders, including patients," Executive Director Margaret Anderson said.
The Economist (tiered subscription model) (Sept. 2016) 
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News from FasterCures
P4C Connect is now open!
The official networking platform for Partnering for Cures 2016, P4C Connect, is now available. P4C Connect helps you find nontraditional allies across sectors who can help you advance your R&D goals. Learn more about the platform today!
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Explore our series on collaboration in medical research
Using FasterCures' Consortia-pedia Catalogue as an information base, the Harnessing the Power of Collaboration series analyzes hot topics, trends and new initiatives in the biomedical R&D ecosystem. Recent posts investigate who the power players are in the consortia space and analyze how the field has evolved, grown and changed.
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Science and Technology
Compounds starve cancer cells in acute myeloid leukemia
Researchers screened 330,000 compounds and found 11 that interfere with a metabolic enzyme in acute myeloid leukemia cells, forcing them into a fasting state that kills cancer cells but not healthy cells. Mice treated with the compounds for 10 weeks lived longer and had fewer leukemia stem cells than untreated mice, and the leukemia did not appear to progress during treatment.
United Press International (9/16) 
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Illumina eyes expansion into clinical, consumer markets
Illumina, under the leadership of recently appointed CEO Francis deSouza, is looking to bring its sequencing offerings into the clinical and consumer markets with the help of its $100 million spinout venture Grail and $100 million-funded software spinout Helix. Grail intends to conduct a large clinical trial of its early cancer screening test by 2017 and launch the product by 2019, while exome sequencing-focused Helix aims to incorporate genomics into personalized apps through collaborations with prominent brands.
Fast Company online (9/19) 
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Study shows increasing use of digital health technologies in clinical trials
More than 60% of almost 200 global pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, contract research organizations and technology providers surveyed reported using digital health technologies in clinical trials, and more than 97% said they intend to increase their use of digital tools during the next five years, according to a report by Validic. Growing use of wearable devices among consumers and access to real-time data are among several factors driving greater use of digital health technologies by researchers, according to the report.
HIT Consultant (9/19) 
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Finance and Economics
Facebook founder, wife commit $3B to prevent, cure disease
Chan and Zuckerberg
Chan and Zuckerberg in February. (John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and pediatrician Priscilla Chan have announced plans to donate $3 billion to "cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children's lifetime," with initial steps including the building of a bioscience research center in San Francisco and the development of the Cell Atlas mapping project. While $3 billion is a significant sum, it is less than the NIH, CDC, FDA and some foundations and drugmakers spend on research each year.
Reuters (9/22),  NBC News (9/22) 
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Venture funding surges for microbiome research
Venture capital has soared in recent years for startups developing ways to use microbes in medicine and agriculture. This year to date, startups in this sector have raised $616.9 million.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/18) 
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Sickle cell study at St. Jude awarded $4.4M grant
The NIH has awarded a $4.4 million grant to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to study how to improve medication use for patients with sickle cell disease. St. Jude has also partnered with Methodist University Hospital for sickle cell research and clinical care for adult Memphis-area patients.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Memphis, Tenn. (9/21) 
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Policy and Regulation
Sarepta approval might reflect culture shift at FDA
FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Janet Woodcock overrode an advisory panel in approving Sarepta's Exondys 51 for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, reflecting the agency's focus on patients' perspectives, says Sarepta CEO Edward Kaye. The approval indicates a willingness to try new approaches to regulatory decisions, health care analyst Ira Loss said.
Bloomberg (9/20) 
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Society and Ethics
Alzheimer's researchers need to collaborate, EMA official says
Expanded data sharing and collaboration would help the Alzheimer's disease research community learn from previous failures and allow new drug targets to be developed and validated, says Enrica Alteri, head of human medicines research and development support at the European Medicines Agency. She said the EMA and FDA are working together on guidelines and standards to streamline Alzheimer's disease drug development.
Regulatory Focus (9/19) 
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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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