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Making the case for precompetitive clinical development

The Structural Genomics Consortium and Sage Bionetworks are spearheading an effort to build a precompetitive, pharma-backed public-private partnership to optimize the clinical validation of new therapeutic targets. By removing IP and data-access restrictions, the group hopes to create an environment that will eliminate redundant discovery programs and reduce the overall cost of R&D.

A newly established public-private partnership called the Archipelago to Proof of Clinical Mechanism (Arch2POCM) hopes to improve the efficiency and lower the costs of drug development by generating a portfolio of small molecules that hit new therapeutic targets and by carrying out early clinical work-up to Phase II clinical trials.

Both the discovery and the trials would happen in a precompetitive environment.

"In 1999, everyone accepted the human gene sequence as precompetitive. In 2003, protein structures were precompetitive. In 2009, small molecule probes became precompetitive. Now what we are proposing is that Phase II clinical proof of mechanism for novel targets be considered precompetitive," said Chas Bountra, chief scientist of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) and one of the leaders of Arch2POCM.

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