Q & A
Isn't it the role of governments and pharma
Governments have responsibilities to their citizen that are limited to their political programs, as sanctioned by their electorate. In the case of medical research, it has never determined the public vote, like the economic agenda or political orientations.
Governments can build roads and provide security; they won't give you automatically a shelter. Same with medical research. They do support some medical research but certainly not even a small part of critically crucial medical research.
In the same way, the role of the pharmaceutical industry is limited to be a business that develops commercially viable products that fit both the expectations of its investors and the requirements of the regulators (it is here understood that a commercially viable product has satisfied its consumers). Otherwise, the pharmaceutical industry has no mandatory roles.
Naturally, if the pharmaceutical industry developed treatments that had no use, they would be sanctioned by the markets. But this doesn't mean it has the responsibility of medical progress in general.
As no one carries the duty to deliver medical progress, it is up to us to decide if we want to see it coming sooner rather than later. As things are going on now, an effective treatment for stroke, pancreas cancer or ALS could be available for patients in 25 years. But with a boost in funding, it could be available in 15 years or maybe earlier. This could be a significant difference for all of us.
Isn't medical research too costly for crowdfunding?
Research and Development (R&D) projects budgets in the pharmaceutical industry are in the range of tens of millions to half a billion in USD, with full programs reaching multiple billions. Crowdacure doesn't propose to take over the pharmaceutical industry program but to engage and support medical research. Drug development is part of medical research. However, even in the sector of drug development, there are low hanging fruits.
These can be cheaper because they are lead by universities rather than pharmaceutical companies and universities get better costings than companies. Or because the projects are designed in a more lean way. Or they involve generic drugs rather than new molecules, which means the drugs used in the project are (much) cheaper and the research needed is less and shorter than usual. Or it can be a development program that is already quite advanced, and only little is needed to the final answer.
Finally, some projects are at their present stage non-investable but "a little" research will make them investable to the pharmaceutical industry.
These are all opportunities where the crowd can fund medical research.
In which diseases will Crowdacure get projects for crowdfunding?
Projects in fields of medicine where research funding is missing such as respiratory diseases, trauma research, mental health etc... We invite you to consult the diagram below or to contact us if you want to know more. Typically there is, of course, rare diseases and tropical infections. Crowdacure also wishes to have research activity in the WHO-defined leading neglected diseases.
Ultimately our experts will determine if there is enough money for research in a particular field.
Examples of projects that will struggle to find funding compared to others:
- Early stage research, exploring alternative ideas.
- Projects at the stage of the "Valley of Death".
- Finding new applications for generic drugs (generic drug repurposing)
- Any treatments that do not involve medicines: food, food supplements such as high-dose riboflavin in migraines prevention, physiotherapy such as exercising in migraine prevention, meditation, Tai Chi such as in balance management for Parkinson
- Projects that are between 2 disciplines
AM I IN A POSITION TO PARTICIPATE IN DECISIONS ON MEDICAL RESEARCH?
Decisions on funding medical research start by determining the technical qualities of a project. As you can imagine though, it doesn't stop there. Once it is considered to be good quality, experts are asked to determine the most promising, or the "best". The question is what is the "best", what is "the most promising"? Does it include the preoccupations of the public or the researcher's projections on these concerns?
This is fundamental, as research involves a lot of work and resources, we better make sure it addresses the right questions. I even dare to say, that if there is a mechanism for the community vote, it would be unethical to perform research in humans without this consultation. Research in human always involves some level of risk. Be it because the subject could be untreated for the time of the trial ( in the placebo group) or because the molecule is used for the first time in humans and we have no idea how safe it is or how well tolerated it is.
WILL I HAVE ANY INFLUENCE ON MEDICAL RESEARCH?
The answer is yes both as a voice and financially.
As a voice, because Crowdacure will pool the views of all and be a stage for expressing your demands in medical research. Be it by initiating discussions and engagement with researchers on the forum, supporting the project you care for, or merely backing hard to fund projects in general or research in underfunded areas. This will be the first time traditional funders will find in their mailbox a letter from you, and your tribe, telling them what you want to see happening.
Joining your vote with an actual support such as a donation or active sharing of the funding campaign will make the message even more evident. In some instances, it will also just make things happen. We are looking forward!!
In addition, Crowdacure will set up the stage to facilitate collaboration between you and traditional funders, to increase your impact. Once they see what most people want to happen, they will adapt their strategy.
WILL I BENEFIT OF MY ENGAGEMENT OF MEDICAL RESEARCH?
The answer is yes. Just because today, we have enough knowledge and technologies to find the needed cures, all researchers need is money.
Processes are faster than ever. Boundaries in sharing information and experience are getting removed; artificial intelligence is working on medical sciences- all contributing to accelerating discovery and development of treatments.
Most probably, regulatory requirements are what costs most in time and money, but these are much needed. Still, the agencies are starting now to look for ways to accelerate things, rather than slow them down.
This means that things could now happen in less than ten years, especially if a generic drug is involved.
If the present project on the platform finds its hypothesis was incorrect, this still represents an advancement of the agenda as now researchers know that route doesn't need further exploration