Article | Science

Better and cheaper drugs in less time

 Aarhus University and industry are joining forces in six new open research collaboration projects

ODIN has reserved DKK 23.9 million for six new research projects that will pave the way for new drugs to treat a wide range of medical conditions – e.g. Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, renal diseases and cancer.

Despite substantial progress, medical researchers and the pharmaceutical industry are still working hard to find reliable biomarkers and targets for a number of medical conditions and treatments (see Fact box), and to develop new methods of analysis to identify and verify them.

The aim is not only to develop better drugs; it is very much also to accelerate the process and lower the costs.

The reason is that, even though they seem promising in the lab, many new drug candidates fail when, finally and after a long and challenging process, they enter the clinical trial phase. This is a waste of time and money for industry as well as society, because it adds to the costs and slows down the introduction of the new drugs that doctors and patients are waiting for.

Six new research projects, with funding totalling DKK 23.9 million from ODIN (the Open Discovery Science Network), will respond to these challenges by developing solutions in the form of new and better knowledge bases that are unpatented and freely accessible to everyone. The six projects have been selected from among 13 applicants in this round, which is the second round after the Novo Nordisk Foundation granted DKK 54.5 million to the ODIN pilot project in February 2020.

A fundamental requirement for the research projects is that they generate broad value – i.e. benefit more than just the individual company – and that the results are shared with the public. The road through the eye of the needle first passed through a project assessment committee, then an international panel of experts, and finally the ODIN steering committee, who chose the most promising projects.

Read the full article: HEALTH.AU.DK