Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Permissionless, or "Open", Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Open Innovation Community pointed me to an interesting article from the pharmaceutical industry this morning. In the August 2015 edition of the Communications of the ACM, an article titled "Permissionless Innovation: Seeking a better approach to pharmaceutical research and development" argues the benefits of opening some aspects of drug development to outside research. The authors, Henry Chesbrough and Marshall Van Alstyne, point out that this would allow drug companies to discover unanticipated uses for new drugs.

The article also discusses a couple of interesting instances of open innovation, namely Goldcorp's opening of its geographical data to outside innovators to help discover new ore deposits, and the pharmaceutical industry's development of Cubicin, a powerful antibiotic.

We need initiatives like this in the pharmaceutical industry and others. The more problem solvers we can engage on each problem, the better. We have the technology to organize large-scale engagement. We need to put that technology to work.

Opening research to other perspectives can help to accelerate solutions to real world problems.