The virtues of being virtual
Given its virtual model of R&D, DNDi implements its pharmaceutical R&D programmes in collaboration with public and private partners from around world and prioritizes its efforts based on the most urgent treatment needs of the targeted patient populations.
This model enables development costs to be kept under control while providing high flexibility, but requires solid collaboration agreements with the main actors of the biomedical sector.
Since 2003, DNDi has demonstrated its capacity to successfully bring together academia, public health institutes, and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as exemplified though the existence of more than 350 research, technical, or funding agreements concluded in less than 5 years with these various entities.
Benefits of partnering with DNDi
From the pharma industry perspective, partnering with DNDi can be an optimal strategic option to enter the field of global health and fulfill part of their corporate social responsibility objectives: being associated with the work of DNDi and its successes can have a very positive impact on the image of the company, motivates employees, and is an efficient way to become familiar with the health market challenges of emerging countries. Last but not least, economical incentives such as the Priority Review Voucher (PRV) from the US FDA may attract more R&D efforts into NTD from the pharma industry, as well as smaller biotechs.
For biotechs, incentives able to convince management and investors of the benefits to work with DNDi can be:
- Unique access to R&D grants through private foundations (BMGF, Wellcome Trust, …)
- Fully financed scientific proof of concept of a particular compound(s) activity or technology (PDP can assume early stage development risks)
- Full benefit from the scientific know-how and results from a PDP’s sponsored research: IP generated can be vested to the biotech outside of the field of NTD)
- Access to monetary incentives such as prizes, PRV
- Strengthen internal employee motivation
- Favorable public image
Thus, DNDi can be a significant source of non-dilutive cash for a biotech, bringing resources otherwise inaccessible to the private sector, and contribute to broadening their IP portfolio in their sector of activity.