Most of what we see for open innovation (OI) in pharmaceutical R&D lies in research, often under the rubrique of “pre-competitive”. While pre-competitive open innovation such as Lilly’s OIDD program is valid, I believe there is also a case and need for OI in the “competitive” landscape of clinical development. (It’s all competitive in some manner.)
On 26 April, I will share my insights and case for bringing OI to the “D” of R&D. My presentation is entitled Accelerating Clinical Development through Open Innovation and will help kickoff the 2-day Fleming Groupe’s Open Innovation in Pharmaceutical R&D conference. I’m also looking forward to chairing the opening session and connecting with fellow European innovation leaders.
Our Clinical Open Innovation is founded on the belief that drug development processes must improve, and that open innovation methods can be used to make clinical development better and faster. It is not a question of should we, but rather how can we work together to “raise all boats” and transform the clinical development processes for the industry. Our program is focused on clearly licensed Commons, webified data and motivated people, in order to turn on a generative knowledge system for clinical development knowledge. For more details, check out our whitepaper and explore our first tool, Clinical Collections.
Please find the slide deck shared below, and I look forward to your feedback.
Open Data is an idea that’s gaining momentum worldwide and has real traction, as evidenced in this recent announcement Obama’s big data plans: Lots of cash and lots of open data.
Even though the term Open Data is thrown around in the tech press and other media outlets, the concept is still foreign to many. To shine some light on the terminology and ideas behind open data, let’s explain why governments and other entities are making data open and why we, as public citizens benefit from the movement.
The Internet is a knowledge generation system that, when engaged in the correct manner and for the right reasons, can accomplish amazing feats. As evidence, one can look at web properties such as Wikipedia. Yes this is an often-referred to resource, but no one can argue with the fact that Wikipedia has built up to 3.8 million articles just in the English version and is available in 30+ languages worldwide.
Bottom line: when information is given to a skilled audience who is hungry to help out a good cause, great things can come about.
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…