Manal Haddad

Why Crowdsourcing for New Drug Discovery is A Step in the Right Direction for Big Pharma

Crowdsourcing is a very feasible way for many to brainstorm for new ideas on the internet. The popularity behind it is such that even the big pharma industry is not oblivious to it and it has recently opted to crowdsource in a bid for new drug discovery for Huntington’s disease.

While there were a few raised eyebrows at this decision, it isn’t one that is altogether bad. In fact, considering big pharma’s bad reputation in the previous months, the decision to crowdsource for drug discovery actually shows that big pharma is beginning to move in the right direction.

Cuts down Cost

Research and development of new drugs is not only extremely costly, but it is also extremely hard. Usually, budget constraints would mean that the research has to cut corners in some aspect. By crowdsourcing, this process, the cost for the research and development process has been effectively cut down since the investing companies can band together, pooling funds for a collective amount.

While the contribution isn’t small, it is still comparatively lower than what an individual company ends up spending on drug discovery when they are working on drug development. It also improves chances of ensuring that the new drug will be more affordable for the consumers as well since no company can claim to have billions of dollars and try to regain a higher profit from their sales.

Opens Doors for Collaboration

Having spent 24 years searching for the right treatment for Huntington’s disease without much success has finally pushed scientists to reach out to each other. Not surprisingly, scientists have understood the need to collaborate and share their research in the hopes that it might prove to be instrumental towards pushing the research of someone else in the right direction.

This open collaboration has effectively shortened the process of working on new drug development by cutting down a lot of the time that could have been sent on acquiring all the proper information, running tests and more. A process that usually takes years can be effectively shortened in this manner. Different scientists can also rely on this open collaboration to corroborate the results garnered from various tests that are being run or are already done.

More Patents

In the crowd sourcing process, the investing businesses do hold the right to patent any drug which is discovered and proven to be effective. Scientists are working with various strains of proteins that have been handpicked by certain investors. This increases the chances of a cure being found as well as provides a diplomatic way for the companies to get the drug patented under their name.

While, the main strings of the research conducted still lies with the investors but even then, the investors are diversified which means that the control over the research doesn’t lie in the hands on one company alone. It means that not only will the resources be pooled out properly; the end decision will also be based on an unbiased process that can be more beneficial for everyone involved.

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