Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Sanofi have joined a unique partnership with several research institutions and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in which they have agreed to share identified sections of their vast libraries to aid in the discovery of a new, more efficient and cost effective treatment for TB. This new partnership – a combination of several big industry players and scientific institutions – is an innovative and contemporary approach by those involved to target a global issue together.
Recognising that the classic joint venture scheme model between just one Pharma organisation and one academic body is failing to produce results fast enough, these companies and organisations are boldly pioneering a new kind of collaboration in which many Pharma companies and several academic institutions are pooling their resources and skills in the hope of producing faster, superior results. If this model proves to be successful, we may be seeing the development of a new type of pharmaceutical business model as the industry seeks new ways to evolve and survive.
Laura Mole, a member for the Pharmaceutical and Life Science team at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP, comments, “The discovery of a new TB drug has so far been out of reach for the Pharma industry to the detriment of patients worldwide. The news of this new alliance will, I am sure, bring some much needed optimism for those people whose lives are at constant risk of TB infection that a swifter, more patient friendly TB drug is on the horizon. I believe it will also go a long way to improving people’s perception of Big Pharma, and the industry as a whole, by showing that not all ventures are for merely for profit but also for the sake of drug discovery to the benefit of people everywhere.”