In Spreading The Word Or Preaching To the Choir, Mark DeLong shares angst from his 2012 Sage Bionetworks Commons Congress experience:
“..how do we move established institutions like universities and pharmaceutical companies closer to a view of “openness as infrastructure“?
Our attendance at the Sage Congress and more recently the HDI Forum Datapalooza has helped us harmonize among other choir members. Clinical Open Innovation is about opening up data and providing tools & infrastructure enabling an open knowledge generation system to further drug development – an Open Clinical Intelligence Network. We’ve been singing the “Openness as infrastructure” hymn in the church of the believers. The Sage Congress and the Datapalooza – both only 3 years running – were able to pitch their tent without having to convert an existing congregation.
The DIA 2012 conference appears a bit different. DIA is an old-school (48 years to be exact) conference driven by the health care product industry and it’s institutions:
Join DIA and an anticipated 7,000+ attendees for the largest international multidisciplinary event that brings together a network of professionals to foster innovation in the development of safe and effective health care products. More…
The following blog post is by Mark Delong.
Mark DeLong leads the information technology group at Duke University’s Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. He is particularly interested in harmonizing life sciences research processes with information technology and in emerging computation technologies including specialized computer processors, “cloud” computing, high performance computing, and development of high-throughput analysis systems. He and his group strongly advocate use of open source and open data. He studied philosophy as an undergraduate, and earned his PhD from Duke in English medieval and Renaissance literature and culture.
The opinions expressed by Mark are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Lilly COI Team.
SPREADING THE WORD OR PREACHING TO THE CHOIR?
On Saturday evening after the third Sage Congress broke up, I wandered down to the Hyatt’s restaurant to mix with other stragglers and relax a bit. I met Jerry Matczak and Tom Krohn from Lilly Clinical Open Innovation, who had the same thing in mind.
“What did you think?” Tom asked, prodding me for a judgment of the event.
I had been wondering exactly what I thought ever since we wrapped things up that afternoon, and I paused and said, “I think it felt a little like a revival.”
My first Sage Congress was a whirlwind of information and shared ideas. I’m privileged to have met such committed, caring and brilliant people. By the end of the Congress, two things became clear.
- Current closed-science models of developing new treatments are not working
- Hope resides in open, people-centric approaches
Cameron Neylon illustrates the problem in his Science In The Open blog post (excerpted here):
- Attempts by a variety of big pharma to replicate disease relevant results published by academic labs failed in ~80% of cases (see for instance this story about this commentary in Nature).
- When a particular blood cancer group was asked what factor about their disease was most to them, they said gastro-intestinal problems. No health professional had ever even considered this as a gastro-intestinal disease.
- Jamie Heywood spent $25M of his own money on attempting to replicate around 500 published results that were therapeutically relevant to ALS and could not repeat the findings in a single case.
- A cancer patient, advocate, and fundraiser of 25 years standing said the following to me: “We’ve been at this for 25 years, we’ve raised over $2B for research, and new patients today get the same treatment I did. What’s the point?”
But it’s not all gloom and doom. Despite the too frequent failures, there are successes. Successes often coming from outside the traditional institutions like academia, government, pharma and the life sciences. Successes that seem to focus less on raw science and more on people. More…
Once again ~240 innovation leaders gathered for the 3rd Sage Congress in San Francisco. I’ve been fortunate to attend all 3 congresses and found this one to be the most engaging and inspiring. I agree with Xconomy’s post on Sage moving from thinking to doing, yet I found myself wanting more.
The 2 days together at Sage Congress is always full of energy and incredibly interesting people. This congress brought in a more diverse set of speakers including an evening of Unplugged where 19 people gave passionate 6 minute inspiring stories. By far, the most moving stories were personal stories where patients lives were impacted and changed.
Here are my top 10 reflections on the Congress.
10. There are a lot of willing people – the challenge and opportunity is servant leadership for collaborative progress. Thanks, Stephen.
9. We need to stop chasing the same things and truly innovate on the margins. Thanks again, Aled.
8. Time away from the office among like-yet-diverse-minded colleagues is refreshing.
7. Don’t stereotype or limit the crowd. Just take a look at Adrien Treuille’s presentation on crowdsourcing science for proof.