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LouisDeGennaro_IOM_Workshop.jpgAs we reported earlier, Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS Chief Mission Officer, was recently appointed to two prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) boards. These boards - National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Advisory Council, and the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) Review Board were created in response to the frustratingly slow pace of drug development.


This past spring Dr. DeGennaro co-chaired an Institute of Medicine workshop entitled: Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation, took place in Washington, DC, to explore ways to maximize CAN’s impact on advancing therapies. The workshop’s findings are now summarized in a new booklet, “Accelerating the Development of New Drugs and Diagnostics: Maximizing The Impact of the Cures Acceleration Network.”


The book describes Dr. DeGennaro’s presentation about the importance of public-private partnerships in driving the translation of science into treatments. He also emphasized the importance of prioritizing projects by the level of unmet medical need.


Further, Dr. DeGennaro described LLS’s Therapy Acceleration Program, designed to bridge the gap delaying academic research from advancing through the drug development pipeline.


“One of our key goals is to partner with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to get the projects through key hurdles,” Dr. DeGennaro said. “At that point the companies can approach the capital market to raise additional dollars or partner with another company to continue the project.“


And finally Dr. DeGennaro discussed two LLS partnerships: one with the biotechnology company Celator, to support a clinical trial for a drug for patients with acute myeloid leukemia; the other between LLS, NIH and the University of Kansas to repurpose existing drugs to treat blood cancers.


In concluding the workshop, NIH’s Katherine Hudson stated: “The status quo is not acceptable. We are infusing that into the brains and the hearts of everybody who works with us. The question is now whether or not we can deliver on showing that CAN can cut through red tape, create culture change, and create new tools and new processes that will make a demonstrable difference.”


This booklet will soon be available at http://www.iom.edu/Reports.aspx


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