It can take ten to fifteen years, and a typical cost of £1 billion, for pharmaceutical companies to release a new drug that works effectively, and is safe.
In Oxford, the Structural Genomics Consortium is pioneering the concept of ‘open access drug discovery’. This works outside the restrictions of intellectual property and patents to transform drug discovery by allowing a crowdsourcing approach to find cures for diseases.
Derivatives of the JQ1 and PFI-1 molecules – developed via Open Access – have already entered clinical trials, more than three years earlier than would have been possible under conventional methods of drug development. Ultimately, this new approach may save millions of lives by speeding up the process of targeting disease efficiently.
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