The major contributors to therapeutic innovations in the 20th century have been the pharmaceutical companies, with biotechnology companies adding significantly over the last twenty-five years. However, these models increasingly have failed in translating the advances of biomedical sciences into innovative products. We suggest a modern-day paradigm for efficiently advancing new therapeutic products. This "distributed partnering" approach would involve four distinct, independent organizations to collaborate in a risk-adjusted manner to discover, define, develop, and deliver innovative products.
The new model would feature the formation of companies called product definition companies (PDC), which would focus solely on advancing innovation through the initial definition research phase. PDCs would consist of a team of experienced professionals who would raise funds to manage several projects simultaneously. PDCs would acquire early stage discoveries from research institutions and invest in defining product applications with a goal of selling the successful ones to pharmaceutical companies for further development and delivery.