The Society for Investigative Dermatology has launched a unique Academic-Industry interface system in order to increase knowledge exchange catalyzing and accelerating discovery in skin research!
The Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) plays a central role in the global community of cutaneous investigation. This project will leverage that centrality with a new interface system that will facilitate interaction between Industry and Academics. This will open new access pathways between those who are in synergistic alignment.
It is almost impossible for one organization/institution to possess all of the resources needed to advance a given research area. With the changing landscape in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, companies may no longer have the ability to develop therapeutics from beginning to end.
Limitations include the maintenance of sufficient compound libraries for drug discovery; identification of novel targets (re-purposing); patent considerations; and implementation of binding legal agreements among all parties. In addition, there are the important issues of intellectual property (IP) rights and liability.
A specific aim of the SID project is to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing and implementation of proof of mechanism and proof of concept diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of skin (and other) diseases. This project has the potential to invigorate existing research pipelines and to move basic research findings into new therapeutics for patients.
The Match-Scientific Synergy
The first component of the project is an interactive database that will enable Academic Investigators and Industry to match up based on complementary knowledge, initiate contact, and work to develop effective partnerships. This portal can potentially extend the reach of knowledge about one disease to others caused by the same mechanism.
The companion piece to the online portal is a dedicated session during the SID annual meeting. The program will include presentations from those who have successfully navigated the tech transfer process, followed by short face-to-face meetings between industry and those with intellectual property that is of interest in a specific research question.
Together, these elements will create a virtual ‘space’ in which academic and industry science can explore potential synergy. It will remove many of the barriers that exist within a single organization/institution, or across the academic and private sectors. The system relies on mutual interdependence; self-organization based on the possession of complementary resources.
Overcoming Barriers to Translation
Development of a drug or device does not move in one direction along a linear path, or rely upon one isolated element of science. Often, the discovery process stalls due to lack of appropriate assay, device, or other resource. Research momentum requires increments of discovery from multiple dimensions in order to advance along the translational horizon. This requires access to a broad landscape of research areas.
Very rarely does one entity possess all the resources, devices, methods, model system or novel drug needed to overcome barriers to translation. The design of the SID database is intended to bridge the translational gap from basic science into the early clinical phase, and beyond.
It is often problematic for university-based inventors to effectively develop industry partnerships to develop their IP. This may be due to ineffective assistance from University based technology transfer offices, or lack of understanding of industry needs for such development. It is also challenging for investigators to identify which industry may have an interest in their novel potential drug, model system or assay.
The Society includes many members who are based in industry and have an interest in the scientific work presented. These industry members also can benefit from the opportunity to meet investigators with valuable IP. This interface could also be used to contract with appropriate academic researchers to conduct needed research on a contract basis, or with those who have useful model systems may improve translational studies. .
The first set of data points came from abstracts submitted to the 2013 IID Meeting with the second set coming from the 2014 SID Annual Meeting.
The SID will offer a new service in connection with the abstract submission process through Scholar One. Currently, those submitting abstracts to the annual meeting submit a brief synopsis of their research, identify the main topic area, and provide searchable keywords related to their research.
Members interested in participating in the new partnership program can select an option that will cause their submission to be flagged for review by interested industry members.
Those who choose to flag their abstract in this way will also be asked to submit their NIH biosketch as well as documentation that all authors agree to make the abstract available to the industry participants.
Flagged abstracts and search terms (along with biosketch) will be made available for review by potential industry and venture capital partners prior to the annual meeting. The SID staff will schedule meetings during the Academic – Industry Partnership Project Session scheduled during the 2014 SID Meeting (Thursday, May 8, 2014).
Industry Partner Session-SID Annual Meeting
Contact Rebecca Minnillo at 216.579.9300 ext. 305 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this unique opportunity.
A two-hour forum will be held at the SID annual meeting.
The first part of the forum will feature an introduction to the project goals, focused on a better understanding of the major aspects to be considered in developing academic partnerships.
The remainder of the session will provide an opportunity for academic investigators and industry to meet face-to-face. These meetings will be scheduled for a period of 15 minutes, and arranged so that industry and academic participants can met with multiple investigators in a short period of time.
After interviews, non-disclosure agreements can be sent to those with whom further exploration is desired.