[opensourcepharma] Ebola Grand Challenge

Jaykumar Menon, Prof. jaykumar.menon at mcgill.ca
Sat Oct 18 14:44:07 UTC 2014

A bit of brainstorming from last week- re open source pharma and Ebola- see below, in case folks have ideas.  Basically repurposing + crowdsourcing.

Looks like it is low budget, which means it would fall in the small ask/donation part of Woodie’s crowdfunding rubric, or in the realm of small grants/partnerships.  Bigger projects of course good too- great idea re the fund, Woodie!


From: Tomasz Sablinski [mailto:tomasz at transparencyls.com]
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2014 9:39 PM
To: Jaykumar Menon, Prof.
Cc: John Wilbanks; Richter, Melinda [JRDUS]; Bernard Munos (bhmunos at gmail.com)
Subject: Re: Ebola Grand Challenge

Looks good to me, thanks.

How about: Transparency as a know - how expert.

We've crowdsourced several clinical trial protocols in diverse therapeutic areas (see attached paper for example) there is nobody else who has the experience. I'd love to be able to do it pro bono and trust me I will when TLS is the size of J&J (or close :):).
We just can not now, particularly if others with deep pockets are involved in the initiative.


On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 9:24 PM, Jaykumar Menon, Prof. <jaykumar.menon at mcgill.ca<mailto:jaykumar.menon at mcgill.ca>> wrote:
Sounds good!   Below I’ve tried to put everything into Tomasz’s  structure.


From: Tomasz Sablinski [mailto:tomasz at transparencyls.com<mailto:tomasz at transparencyls.com>]
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2014 9:06 PM
To: John Wilbanks
Cc: Jaykumar Menon, Prof.; Richter, Melinda [JRDUS]; Bernard Munos (bhmunos at gmail.com<mailto:bhmunos at gmail.com>)
Subject: Re: Ebola Grand Challenge

Dear All,

I think we need to structure the approach. I see 3 separate activities - all of them subject to OS, but requiting distinct expertise, money and infrastructure.

1/ ideas for repurposing - Innocentive is a good way to go

-          Prize purse by Janssen- providing cash, and, as needed, wet lab space.

-          Sage contacts may publish

-          Need to get judges.  Who?  And also there could be a crowd judging aspect too.

-          Could also be an open process, where everyone can see everyone’s ideas and builds on them.  Though that makes it harder to have a “winner” –though judges could pick out the chief contributor(s).
2/ experimental work to validate the above, if needed - wet labs at biotech / pharma (??)

-          Wet labs provide by Jansen.

-          Sage contacgts may publish most promising outcomes here too.

3/ design of clinical studies of already identified repurposed candidates - we (Transparency) are ready now, providing that budget can be secured - we have no bandwidth to dedicate time pro bono. There is at least one solid candidate that seem to be worth testing straight in patients - statin. The Protocol Builder for this could be on our webpage in few weeks. A clinical trial designed around statin can be easily adjusted to any new candidate coming out of #1/#2 above. A large part of the design needs to deal with extraordinary logistics of conducting a study where patients are, and we have some unorthodox ideas to be vetted by the crowd.

-          Transparency as partner/ vendor (right term?- vendor to indicate that it can’t be done pro bono) to do this.

-          Need to get some real world on the ground partners- WHO, national govts – for this all to feed into.  They need not commit to act on it, only to bless it or at least to look at the results of the whole project.


On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM, John Wilbanks <wilbanks at gmail.com<mailto:wilbanks at gmail.com>> wrote:
Great idea! I’m in personally and can reach out to some brand name journals to see if they’d be into publishing the winner of such a challenge with the challenge acting as peer review (which is the Sage prize machinery, such as it is!)


From: Richter, Melinda [JRDUS] [mailto:MRicht23 at its.jnj.com]
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2014 1:26 PM
To: Jaykumar Menon, Prof.; Bernard Munos (bhmunos at gmail.com); Tomasz Sablinski; john wilbanks
Subject: RE: Ebola Grand Challenge

Yup I’m in… I’d need to confirm $ amounts but I can commit to everything else immediately.   Let’s do this.

MELINDA RICHTER | Head of Janssen Labs

[cid:image002.png at 01CE8EB4.BF3F57A0]


On Oct 10, 2014, at 1:23 PM, Jaykumar Menon, Prof. <jaykumar.menon at mcgill.ca<mailto:jaykumar.menon at mcgill.ca>> wrote:

Hi Melinda and Bernard and Tomasz and John,

Have spoken to you each individually over the last weeks. Am swamped and basically out of commission for a couple weeks but I do think there is something there re open source pharma + repurposing approach to ebola:

1.        Call for repurposing ideas (maybe on innocentive)
2.       Small- say $20-$100k - for best idea (prize perhaps put up by J&J.  Publiciity really proportionall to size of award ane marketing budget.
3.       Crowdsource clinical trial methodologies
4.       Lab space as needed at Janssen as another prize purse component.
5.       Fit this all within Jansen/J&J (and maybe Sage) prize machinery.


From: Jaykumar Menon, Prof.
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2014 1:18 PM
To: opensourcepharma at lists.okfn.org<mailto:opensourcepharma at lists.okfn.org>
Subject: Ebola Grand Challenge


From: zakir thomas [mailto:zaksthomas at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2014 10:47 PM
To: jaleel uc; Jaykumar Menon, Prof.
Subject: Fwd: Please share with OSDD - US Goverment announces Prize/Grand Challenge for Ebola R&D

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: leena menghaney <leenamenghaney at gmail.com<mailto:leenamenghaney at gmail.com>>
Date: Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM
Subject: Please share with OSDD - US Goverment announces Prize/Grand Challenge for Ebola R&D
To: zakir thomas <zaksthomas at gmail.com<mailto:zaksthomas at gmail.com>>

Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development

We are calling on the global community to share pioneering ideas that deliver practical and cost-effective innovations in a matter of months. Regardless of background, experience or knowledge of Ebola, your bold thinking is necessary to address this crisis, to improve delivery of care, and stem the spread of disease.

 USAID is partnering with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the
United States Department of Defense to launch:

An open innovation platform to crowdsource and incubate innovative ideas to improve delivery of care and stem the spread of disease, including improvements in PPE;

A challenge competition to fund and test innovations for PPE, infection treatment and control; and

Partnerships for rapid testing and deploying the best solutions.

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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