April 20 & 21 is the 2012 Sage Congress at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. The Lilly COI Team in Tom Krohn and Jerry Matczak will be participating and are looking forward to a few days with fellow life science innovators and leaders. The Congress’ focus on “Building Better Models of Diseases Together – moving beyond the current medical information system and its rewards” will bring together about 240 leaders in shaping the future of collaborative, commons research. It is the third annual congress and we are honored to have been part of all three. Tom is part of a panel and will assist in facilitating one of the working sub groups. It is good to be part of a conference that produces collaborative work product, not just talks about the need for change. More…
Last week we had the privilege to sit down with a physician who shared challenges in planning a clinical trial. She had been working for years on this trial, and continued to face resource consuming and frustrating issues. Recently she attended a two hour meeting where some basic questions were left unanswered, and – even more frustrating – the traditional paths to getting those answers were not promising.
One, she was struggling to find subjects to qualify for the trial. Two, she was wondering about what investigator sites might be appropriate.
She knew that there were others who were conducting trials on this disease, but couldn’t quickly and easily get at key information about those trials. If she could find the right trials and learn about the investigator sites used, it could help her with strategies to find potential sites and qualified subjects.
Enter Clinical Collections. More…
Barry Crist is the Lead Investigator for the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation Team. Barry has spent his career leveraging information to transform the way people do work. He is a technologist, an architect, a seeker, a problem solver – and has a passion-fueled vision that drives a unique ability to make big ideas come to life.
What personally drew you to the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation project?
Taking information or knowledge and making it useful has been my whole career – making information better so that people’s lives will be better. I’ve seen it work.
For many years, I worked at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site. This is a 300 square-mile facility with multiple nuclear reactors and chemical processing facilities. It was my job to digitize half a million paper engineering drawings (blueprints, essentially) and make them smarter. This gave engineers and scientists immediate access to digitized knowledge about the massive facilities – where is a valve, what’s connected to a panel. You can imagine why that’s important.
Prior to that, people had to request the prints, search through them…it took a long time to get the job done.
In pharma development, the “drawings” are the clinical trials. In their current state, they’re a big pile of poorly digitized, unstructured, disconnected papers, files and databases. If the end at Eli Lilly is, “Let’s develop products that make people’s lives better and improve their health,” then the means to that end, for me, is to develop those products faster and better. And we can do that – if we manage the knowledge better. And managing the knowledge better, as I learned at the DOE, starts with digitization.
In his book Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Henry Chesbrough describes the centralized R&D departments of modern industry as “a series of fortified castles” behind whose walls the business of innovation is conducted in closely guarded secrecy. Forays outside the castle keep were rare. Visitors inside were equally so.
Numerous articles, blog posts, and interviews have made it clear that this approach to innovation in the biosciences — and in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically — is broken. In many cases, R&D budgets have been cut and research pipelines now focus on the most lucrative (or least risky) areas of development. The high cost of failed trials, regulatory pressures and even, perhaps, internal cultural habits have conspired to cause many companies to become risk-adverse. Hundreds of new ideas die on the R&D vine as a result. More…