In April, I wrote that biopharm and pharma companies seemed to be recognizing a need to change their R&D models, and that several new public-private models were being announced. Sanofi-Aventis informed attendees at BIO 2010 that it has joined the Massacchusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). The MLSC has the responsibility to implement the State's 10 year, $1 B Life Sciences Initiative Center's Corporate Consortium Program.
In return for Sanofi's pledge to help fund fledgling life sciences companies in Massachuesetts, the firm will receive early opportunities to license new technologies. Sanofi-Aventis' participation in this Accelerator Loan Program will allow it to expand its R&D partnering activities. The loan program is targeting $5.5 M in new loans in 2010, up from the $3.4 M it lent last year.
I believe this is a good trend to link public and private resources more explicitly - particularly in models that may very well enable more innovation. I'd actually like to see public-private models that resulted in "new findings" that could then be non-exclusively (although in limited numbers) licensed to different companies to exploit - possibly with some exclusivity around application areas or geographic markets. This may help get a few more players in the game and spur competition to reach market more swiftly (as long as there is some data!). I think both the public and private sector benefit from these models and ultimately I think it is good for the science and the patient.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 7th 2010