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December 9, 2008
Goldman Sachs: A New Drug Research Model?
Now, here’s an odd item from the Financial Times (registration required):
Goldman Sachs is in talks to provide hundreds of millions of dollars of funding to a large pharmaceutical company, in the first evidence of a new business model for the sector that will see financing shifted away from funding companies and towards targeted co-development of specific medicines. . .
. . .(The model involves) a different approach, creating a "research pool" into which pharma companies would place a range of experimental drugs in a single therapeutic area in early-stage phase 1 and 2 trials, where their specialists would work alongside external experts including scientists, chemists and clinical research organizations.
This was announced at a conference run by the newspaper, so they’re really the only source for information on this. I haven’t been able to find anything from Goldman about it, for example, and the minimal press coverage so far has all pointed back to this article. (Ed Silverman picked it up at Pharmalot, for example).
So one wonders what’s up, because the information that’s given raises more questions than it answers. I presume that the assumption is that since only a few early-stage clinical compounds ever make it, that this gives everyone a chance to share the risk. But which therapeutic area are we talking about here? How are things apportioned when one compound makes it through? And what if more than one does? And where are these external experts coming from, and who pays them?
This could be very interesting, because I think that we need to be open to some new research models in the industry. The current one isn’t exactly spewing results these days. But I wish that I knew more about what this proposal involves – anyone out there have any more details that they can share?
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