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Multi-stakeholder consortia as a way to make major advances: NEJM article main points and highlights

The article Academic, Foundation, and Industry Collaboration in Finding New Therapies was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 10th, 2017. This article is well worth reading but if you don't have time here is my quick take on it:


The article describes three multi-stakeholder consortia in: cystic fibrosis, multiple myeloma, and diabetes. Each of these consortia is described both in terms of what they achieved and how they were structured. They provide a nice graphic depiction of the collaborative matrices that show the roles of the different types of stakeholders. 

Main points

  1. Silo mentality has limited therapeutic advancement but now new advances necessitate larger collaborations.
  2. Complimentary partners focused on a common goal can lead to major advancements
  3. The major advancements described in the paper would not have happened had the groups worked independently

Interesting Highlights

  • It only took 4 years to get the cystic fibrosis drug ivacaftor through the FDA approval process
  • Disease foundations can be important funding partners in transformative projects, but also have a role in helping to synergise the collaboration