Pay for success contracts (e.g. Prizes/SIBs) designed to incentivise new uses for off-patent drugs
Open Source Medicine
Incentivising clinical trials for off-patent drugs allows everyone to benefit from low cost medicine
No Risk for Backers
Pay for success contracts mean that backers of Prizes/SIBs guaranteed to only fund a medical breakthrough
Covid-19 treatments are being ignored.
What if a safe, affordable and effective treatment for Covid-19 is already available but couldn’t get the private funding it needed for large Phase II/Phase III clinical trials because you cannot recover the costs? This is the current broken system for incentivising medical innovation. The pharmaceutical industry will never pay for a drug’s clinical trials without being able to enforce a monopoly price using patents. So large clinical trials for these potential cures rarely get funded by governments and charities due to the expense (US$1-20m+ per Phase II clinical trial) and high risk of failure (50% – 75%) .
What if pharma can’t enforce their patent?
Unmonopolisable therapies are treatments that cannot be adequately protected using patents to enforce a monopoly price. For that reason they cannot attract private funding for clinical trials, even if they were promising treatments. Examples include new uses for off-patent generic drugs, supplements, diets and lifestyle interventions.
How it Works
“Pay for success” contracts such as a Prize Fund or SIBs transfer the risk of failed clinical trials to the market, with investors competing to achieve the criteria or outcomes required for payment. The larger the Prize or SIB, the better it works. The funders of the prize would be anyone interested in showing that affordable off-patent therapies work, including the public, charities, NGOs and government healthcare payers. The criteria to receive an “outcome payment” would be a large randomised controlled trial (RCT) showing improvement of the adjunct therapy + usual care vs placebo + usual care, and would be designed to provide a standard rate of return to investors (e.g. 5%+ p/a)
Crowd Funded Cures is an initiative of the Medical Prize Charitable Trust, a registered NZ charity incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 (NZ) and having Charity No. CC49977. It was founded by Savva Kerdemelidis in 2013, who is an IP/Commercial Legal Adviser and NZ/AU Patent and Trade Mark Attorney. Amir Amraie is a pharmacist and entrepreneur and joined the team in 2018. The idea of using a flexible prize fund for specific disease classes (a type of “pay for success” contract) to “de-risk” large clinical trials for unmonopolisable therapies was proposed in Savva’s 2014 LLM thesis (available here). More recently, the use of Social Impact Bonds (another type of “pay for success” contract) has also been suggested as a means for incentivising clinical trials for repurposing off-patent drugs (see here and here). Our charity is currently raising US$50k to fund a feasibility study to help establish the world’s first social impact bond or prize for repurposing off-patent drugs.
CEO & Founder
Savva is a Commercial/IP Legal Adviser and a NZ and Australian Patent and Trade Mark Attorney with 17+ years experience working for tech and medical device companies. He conducted his LLM thesis on the lack of private incentives to develop unmonopolisable therapies.
Operations & Fundraising
Amir is a pharmacist and entrepreneur working with various tech companies and start ups to help with commercialisation. Amir has experience in public speaking, SEO, and managing multi-jurisdictional teams to conduct web development projects.