Back to School 2020
Having touched the third rail of data sharing in the pandemic, drug developers should hold on tight
COVID-19 has lit a path to greater data sharing
COVID-19 has lit a path to greater data sharing.
This is the third article in BioCentury’s 28th Annual Back to School package. In the opening piece, BioCentury called on biopharma to convert its COVID response to a new era of efficient drug development.
Biopharma companies have come together to share data in COVID-19 because they believe that getting data out fast and wide is the best way to expedite development.
Carving that in stone after the pandemic would send a strong message the industry is ready to begin a new chapter, where data sharing will speed up drug development and increase success rates. Having seen the fruits of this for COVID-19, the public will expect no less in its aftermath.
Data sharing doesn’t come easily. It goes against decades of practice, built on the conviction that a company’s competitive position is protected by keeping secret as much as possible for as long as possible.
Nevertheless, the pandemic has injected huge energy into sharing. Within and across the large-scale COVID-19 consortia, pharmas are driving the sharing of information across the drug development continuum, from sharing preclinical assets and harmonizing assays to sharing clinical trial data as they emerge.
“Clearly, with COVID-19, the industry learned that the precompetitive space is much broader than it’s historically been,” Vasant Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS; SIX:NOVN), told BioCentury. “We’ve always had some level of precompetitive alliance and efforts — various clinical trials and preclinical efforts — but I think that’s now all gone to scale.”
Novartis is involved in the three