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The role of open innovation in biomarker discovery

Lilla Landeck, Monika Lessl, Andreas Busch, Matthias Gottwald, Khusru Asadullah

Article ID: 89
Vol 1, Issue 2, 2016, Article identifier:

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Precision medicine aims to treat diseases with special consideration for the individual biological variability. Novel biomarkers (BM) are needed to predict therapeutic responses and to allow for the selection of suitable patients for treatment with certain drugs. However, the identification and validation of appropriate BMs is challenging. Close col-laboration between different partners seems to be a key success factor. While the importance of partnerships and larger, well-established consortia in BM discovery such as the pharmaceutical industry and academic institutions is well un-derstood and has been investigated in the past, the use of open-innovation models, also known as ‘crowd sourcing for biomarkers’, is still in its infancy. Crowd sourcing comprises of a —usually via internet— request for problem solution to an open group of users in a kind of an ‘open call’. The community (crowd) is asked to provide solutions. Since the application of the crowd sourcing method offers the possibility to collect as many as possible novel ideas from a broad community with different expertise, this approach is particularly promising for BM development. In this article we de-scribe the first examples of open-innovation models, such as the ‘grants for targets’ (G4T) and biomarkers initiative ‘InnoCentive’ (innovation/incentive) platform. They may be a fruitful basis for collaborative BM development in the future.

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