[opensourcepharma] Beyond Heroism And Denial: How To Fortify Our Response To Ebola

Bernard Munos bhmunos at gmail.com
Sat Oct 18 14:19:44 UTC 2014

Thanks, Woodie. Very helpful. Let me chew over it this weekend.


On Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 8:55 AM, SHERWOOD NEISS <sherwood at theccagroup.com>

> Morning …
> I’d argue that there’s donation fatigue over crowdfunding fatigue.  It is
> hard for people to “give” to something where they feel their money might
> not be worth something but if they think their money is "an investment" it
> changes everything because then they have a vested interest in the success
> of the idea (more so than a donation because you are giving your money away
> and not expecting anything in return).
> Turn the model around and I bet there can be more engagement.  Sharing
> knowledge (crowdsourcing) is much different than sharing
> money(crowdfunding). What your desired outcome is (art, product, business)
> will determine the route you should take. If you are looking for donations
> aim for a SMALL amount of money (which will do nothing for Ebola). If you
> are looking to pre-sell a product (not applicable really to Ebola as of
> now), aim for an achievable goal that you will surpass with orders that
> further engage others to buy, if you are looking to fund a company (make
> sure you have a great team with a sellable vision) and aim for a large
> amount that investors believe will be sufficient to make a dent in your
> vision, report milestone achievements, and allow you to come back for
> further funding.
> Crowdfunding has a lot of components to it.  It is important these people
> understand each type of crowdfunding serves different purposes.  I believe
> Ebola is best served by a FUND for which investor can both lend or invest
> in the fund.  The fund managers/investment team (made up of a team much
> like the attendees at the Rockefeller event) will have to review proposals
> and determine who gets what.  Investors will go for this model because
> there are experts doing the work they can’t.  At least that’s my thought.
> Now back to my coffee …
> And just for fun … here’s a picture of the Fall colors from Connecticut.
> Cheers,
> Woodie
> *As co-founders of the Crowdfund Investing movement, CCA uses its unique
> perspective and methodology to help professional investors and institutions
> (local, state, national governments and NGO's) build crowdfunding
> ecosystems to support innovation, strengthen businesses and create
> thousands of new jobs.*
> *Sherwood Neiss, Principal*
> Crowdfund Capital Advisors, LLC
> Miami . San Francisco . New York . Washington D.C. . Hong Kong . Dubai
> Email: sherwood at TheCCAGroup.com <davis at crowdfundcapitaladvisors.com>
> Twitter: @woodien
> Web: www.CrowdfundCapitalAdvisors.com
> Office: (877) 427-2350 x701
> Cell:     (202) 247-7182
> *Latest Contributions:*
> Venture Beat:
> Investments in crowdfunding platforms have already doubled this year
> <http://venturebeat.com/2014/09/08/investments-in-crowdfunding-platforms-have-already-doubled-this-year/>
> New bill could finally fix crowdfunding - if the sausage stuffers don’t
> get to it
> <http://venturebeat.com/2014/05/08/new-bill-could-finally-fix-crowdfunding-if-the-sausage-stuffers-dont-get-to-it/>
> The New York Times thinks only the rich should profit from crowdfunding
> <http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/09/the-new-york-times-thinks-only-the-rich-should-profit-from-crowdfunding/>
> It Might Cost You $39,000 to Crowdfund $100,000 - A Strategy Forward for
> Entrepreneurs
> <http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/02/it-might-cost-you-39k-to-crowdfund-100k-under-the-secs-new-rules/>
> Crowdfunding report signals increased revenue, jobs, and deal flow
> <http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/15/crowdfunding-report-signals-increased-revenue-jobs-and-deal-flow/>
> How to save crowdfunding before it’s dead on arrival
> <http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/08/how-to-save-crowdfunding-before-its-dead-on-arrival/>
> *Interesting Links:*
> *One of Top Ten Most Influential People in Crowdfunding*
> <http://www.forbes.com/sites/chancebarnett/2012/08/16/top-10-most-influential-people-in-business-crowdfunding/>
> Co-author of the World Bank Report  Crowdfunding's Potential for the
> Developing world <http://www.infodev.org/crowdfunding>
> Co-author of Crowdfund Investing for Dummies Available at Amazon
> <http://www.amazon.com/Crowdfund-Investing-Dummies-Sherwood-Neiss/dp/111844969X>
>  & Barnes & Noble <http://www.barnesandnoble.com/listing/2688478933471>
> *The Feature Story* on Crowdfund Capital Advisors in Entrepreneur Magazine
> <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226741>
> Co-creator of Success with Crowdfunding
> <http://www.successwithcrowdfunding.com/>
> On Oct 18, 2014, at 4:31 AM, Bernard Munos <bhmunos at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Jay,
> Thanks for your comments. The reaction to the blog has actually been
> puzzling. Of all my Forbes blogs, it is the one that has generated the most
> fan mail, but also the one with the fewest page views -- currently about
> 350. A typical blog would have received well over 1000 views by now. I am
> at a loss to understand what is happening, but it worries me because it
> raises questions about our ability to raise money through crowdfunding to
> support a crowdsourced research program. I wonder if it is Ebola fatigue,
> or the fact that there is so much stuff about Ebola that it is difficult to
> get visibility.
> To my knowledge there has been two Ebola-related crowdfunded initiatives.
> One has successfully raised
> <https://experiment.com/projects/can-we-defeat-ebola-with-an-experimental-cancer-drug>
>  $5K for OncoSynergy. The other one <https://www.crowdrise.com/CureEbola>, launched
> 8 days ago by a scientist at Scripps, is trying to raise $100K to support
> research in her lab. It has raised $56K so far, much of it in reaction to a
> local radio program. Given the state of near-paranoia about Ebola that is
> sweeping the US, this seems low to me.
> Like all my blogs, this one has been (re)twitted to thousands of people,
> and reached all my LinkedIn contacts. But people have not clicked. I hope
> it does not narrow our options.
> Bernard
> On Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 11:19 PM, Jaykumar Menon, Prof. <
> jaykumar.menon at mcgill.ca> wrote:
>> Wonderful Bernard!   Powerfully and creatively  and constructively
>> argued.  With some literary flair to boot.
>> And  Open Source Pharma (and Rockefeller Foundation and Open Society
>> Foundations) makes Forbes!
>> J
>> http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmunos/2014/10/16/beyond-heroism-and-denial-how-to-fortify-our-response-to-ebola/
>> Bernard Munos  <http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmunos/>Contributor
>> <image001.jpg>
>> *Beyond Heroism And Denial: How To Fortify Our Response To Ebola*
>> Heroism and denial have been the hallmarks of the Ebola crisis. The
>> heroes are the front-line healthcare workers, 400 of whom have caught the
>> disease, and 227 have died. Despite their bravery and sacrifice, however,
>> skepticism and bureaucracy have slowed the response to the disease, and
>> helped the epidemic gallop out of control. The outbreak that was first
>> reported in December 2013, and only had about 50 identified cases in
>> March
>> <http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/10/15/us-health-ebola-chronology-idINKCN0I42NG20141015>,
>> has now spread to 8900 patients, half of whom have died – 40% in the last
>> month. It has entered its exponential phase
>> <http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/31/world/africa/ebola-virus-outbreak-qa.html> with
>> the number of cases doubling every three weeks
>> <http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-ominous-math-of-the-ebola-epidemic/2014/10/09/3cad9e76-4fb2-11e4-8c24-487e92bc997b_story.html>.
>> The numbers of cases and casualties have gone up ten times since June
>> <https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCAQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.economist.com%2Fblogs%2Fgraphicdetail%2F2014%2F10%2Febola-graphics&ei=Fwk8VP_GIabksATu34Fg&usg=AFQjCNFqoHONlZ2Wc64kDVM_Rb7wPLGifg&sig2=xN0Xi>.
>> Will we be looking at 80,000 patients and 40,000 deaths by the end of the
>> year?
>> Despite the naysaying
>> <https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCoQqQIoADAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticles%2Fthe-ebola-twilight-of-public-institutions-1413415407&ei=Z0A_VJXECcr5yQSa8IDgAQ&usg=AFQjCNFB0o14cXTtHU81FlTH>,
>> a more vigorous response is finally under way. But it is not keeping up
>> with the disease <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29563530>. The
>> U.S. is building 17 treatment centers in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
>> that will receive 1700 patients when completed. But the crisis managers
>> reckon
>> <http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/containing-ebola-what-it-would-take/1366/> that
>> between 10,000 and 15,000 people need to be in treatment centers now. In
>> Sierra Leone, which has 3000 patients, the shortage of caregivers and
>> severely overtaxed medical facilities, have already caused authorities to concede
>> defeat
>> <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/11/world/africa/officials-admit-a-defeat-by-ebola-in-sierra-leone.html?_r=3>.
>> They will now send patients home and try to care for them there, a
>> frightening prospect given the potential for spreading contamination among
>> families and neighborhoods. Doctors Without Borders estimates that treating
>> each Ebola patients takes 53 gallons of water daily, as well as 20
>> gallons of bleach, 8 pairs of rubber gloves, and 3 body suits
>> <http://graphics.wsj.com/treating-ebola-by-the-numbers/?mod=e2tw> –
>> requirements that are well beyond the means of a country whose GDP per
>> capita stands at $613.
>> To make matters worse, we are fighting without weapons. Although Ebola
>> emerged almost 40 years ago, it has no vaccine or therapy. Part of the
>> reason is that Ebola has historically been confined to poor African
>> countries which cannot pay. But the problem is also that one cannot do
>> clinical research without patients, and one can only find patients during
>> epidemics. In between, there is no one to try vaccines or antiviral
>> medications, and research grinds to a halt. When the virus returns,
>> unpredictably, it always spawns a crisis which makes it very difficult to
>> plan trials, obtain authorizations, recruit sites and patients, get
>> consent, train workers, prepare and ship material, and carry out the
>> minutia required for rigorous, ethical research. Previous Ebola outbreaks
>> <http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/history/chronology.html> have
>> lasted from 1 to 6 months, and the largest one sickened fewer than 426
>> people, hardly enough to run trials. By the time clinicians are ready, the
>> patients are gone.
>> Yet, despite these odds, scientists have risen to the challenge. They are
>> the other heroes of this tragedy. Developing vaccines is difficult and
>> often takes many years – we are still awaiting them for HIV and hepatitis C
>> – but scientists at GlaxoSmithKline were able to produce a candidate that
>> yielded promising results in monkeys, and entered human safety trials
>> <http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/tough-choices-ahead-ebola-vaccine-trials> in
>> September. If all goes as planned, some 10,000 doses could be available for
>> efficacy trials by January, an extraordinary achievement. Other vaccines
>> developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and J&J should also be
>> ready for research early next year. [We should applaud these companies for
>> remaining active in an area of research that is out of favor across much of
>> the industry. Their employees and shareholders can be truly proud of their
>> contribution to rescuing society from the threat of a global plague
>> <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-margaret-chan/ebola-cuttingedge-science_b_5965502.html?&ir=Politics&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000016>
>> .]
>> But 10,000 or 20,000 vaccine doses won’t stop the outbreak, and the five
>> drugs in development
>> <http://www.fiercebiotechresearch.com/story/10-drugs-could-stop-ebola/2014-10-14> are
>> too early in the research process to be of much help to most patients.
>> Let’s be real: to tackle Ebola, we must do much more. We must join forces,
>> and scale up our research efforts to a level never achieved before. We must
>> marshal the intellectual and creative resources of the global scientific
>> community, and apply them to the disease.
>> Fortunately, we can do it, and do it quickly. The last decade has seen
>> the emergence of on-line crowdsourcing platforms that can reach millions of
>> scientists and solve the toughest problems in weeks, at very modest cost,
>> and with a success rate of over 80%. The most popular one, Innocentive
>> <http://www.innocentive.com/about-innocentive/facts-stats>, has over
>> 300,000 “solvers” on standby, and, through partners such as the Nature
>> Publishing Group and Scientific American, it can reach over 13 million
>> scientists worldwide. Since 2001, it has solved over 1,500 dauntingly
>> complex problems for about $40 million – or less than $30,000 on average
>> per problem.
>> How to harness this firepower? By issuing several challenges to the
>> global scientific community:
>>    1. Design inexpensive and improved diagnostics that can quickly
>>    detect the disease in the field. To control outbreaks, we first need to
>>    know who is sick. One of the first symptoms of Ebola is fever, but not
>>    everybody who runs a fever has Ebola! – especially in malaria-endemic areas.
>>    2. Identify drugs with potential anti-Ebola activity among the 2000
>>    or so FDA-approved medicines. This is not as far-fetched as it may sound. Prestigious
>>    journals
>>    <http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/5/190/190ra79.abstract?sid=ecf907f6-a4ae-4b37-a29d-474963a53068> have
>>    already published evidence of activity
>>    <http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0060579&representation=PDF> among
>>    some drugs. This is not surprising. Hundreds of drugs approved for
>>    something have been reported to be active against unrelated diseases – and
>>    sometimes approved to treat them. In 2012, the NIH launched a drug
>>    rescue program
>>    <http://www.ncats.nih.gov/research/reengineering/rescue-repurpose/therapeutic-uses/therapeutic-uses.html> to
>>    find new uses for drug candidates that had been abandoned before approval.
>>    Scores of talented pharmacologists rose from the crowd, and identified compelling
>>    potential new indications
>>    <http://www.ncats.nih.gov/research/reengineering/rescue-repurpose/therapeutic-uses/projects-2013.html>.
>>    We need to apply that sort of brain-power to Ebola. Approved drugs are safe
>>    – if used at the approved dose, or below. They are also often inexpensive,
>>    and widely available. Even if only partially effective, they might still
>>    help reduce the transmission rate – the number of persons infected on
>>    average by each Ebola patient – to the point where the epidemic starts
>>    declining.
>>    3. Design clinical research methods and trial protocols that are more
>>    relevant to Ebola patients and their healthcare systems. Western clinical
>>    research relies upon a medical infrastructure and a quantity of trained
>>    medical workers that simply do not exist in West Africa
>>    <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29324595>. Liberia has 51
>>    doctors to serve 4.2 million people, and Sierra Leone has 136 for six
>>    million. Insisting on exporting our standards severely curtails the amount
>>    of research that can be done, and curbs our ability to respond to emergency
>>    situations. As Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, puts it: “Not
>>    a single [patient] has been offered anything beyond tepid sponging and
>>    ‘we’ll bury you nicely,’… It’s just unacceptable. We have to work out how
>>    to ethically, and practically, undertake the essential clinical research in
>>    an emergency that is critical to save lives and reduce disease
>>    transmission.”
>>    4. Design healthcare worker protective suits that are more effective
>>    and less cumbersome. The current gear
>>    <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29577175> includes a surgical
>>    cap, goggles, medical mask, respirator, medical scrubs, overalls, double
>>    gloves, apron, and boots – a hodgepodge that seem to be crying for a
>>    redesign. Better suits should be not only simpler, and safer to put on/off,
>>    but also reusable, and include cooling devices and the use of breathable
>>    materials.
>>    5. Design reusable protective suits that can be used by family
>>    members at home
>>    6. Design low-cost treatment centers, isolation units, sterilization
>>    equipment, crematoria, waste disposal systems that can quickly be deployed
>>    and assembled where they are needed, including rural areas. Come up with
>>    innovative ways of staffing these centers.
>> A great feature of crowdsourcing is that it is not only powerful and very
>> economical, but it also scales easily. All the above can be undertaken in
>> parallel, and solutions will start arriving in a few weeks to a few
>> months. Once they are available, they should be posted in open and free
>> access to insure transparence, and give the global community an opportunity
>> to further improve upon them. Open-Source Pharma
>> <http://www.opensourcepharma.net/>, an initiative recently launched with
>> support from the Rockefeller and Open Society (Soros) foundations, could be
>> used for such purpose.
>> The cost of the current outbreak
>> <http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/cost-of-ebola-outbreak-west-africa-health-workers-training-32b/2014-10-09?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal>
>>  has been estimated at between $9 billion to $32 billion, depending upon
>> the spread of the epidemic. A crowdsourced solution might cost 1/10,000 of
>> that in prize-money. Even if we continue to pursue other solutions, it is
>> an option that we can ill afford to pass.
>> *From:* opensourcepharma [mailto:opensourcepharma-bounces at lists.okfn.org]
>>  *On Behalf Of *Bernard Munos
>> *Sent:* Thursday, October 16, 2014 7:22 PM
>> *To:* opensourcepharma at lists.okfn.org
>> *Subject:* [opensourcepharma] Beyond Heroism And Denial: How To Fortify
>> Our Response To Ebola
>> Hello,
>> This is just to mention my blog entry
>> <http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmunos/2014/10/16/beyond-heroism-and-denial-how-to-fortify-our-response-to-ebola/>
>>  about Ebola on Forbes. It discusses a crowdsourced response to the
>> crisis, with results to be posted in open free access on a site such as
>> opensourcepharma.net.
>> Best,
>> Bernard
> --
> Follow me on Forbes <http://blogs.forbes.com/bernardmunos/> and
> Fastercures
> <http://fastercures.tumblr.com/post/62722481036/give-me-your-innovators-yearning-to-breathe-free#!>
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