CURING PATIENTS WITHOUT PATENTS
Outcomes-based financing for open source medicines to prove off-patent therapies work, so we can have affordable medicine for everybody
1000s of off-patent therapies
What if a safe and affordable medical treatment or potential cure is ready to be tested in patients now but couldn’t get the private funding it needed for large Phase II/III clinical trials to prove efficacy because it was off-patent and you cannot charge a monopoly price? The pharmaceutical industry relies on patenting new drugs so it can charge a monopoly price to make its profits and recover its R&D costs.
Patented drugs cost $1-2+ billion dollars to develop and result in new medicines taking 10-15+ years to reach patients, instead of the quickest, safest and most effective treatments and cures. There are over 20k off-patent drugs and nutraceuticals that could be repurposed to treat and potentially cure new diseases for 1/100th of the cost and 5-10x faster than new patented drugs. This is the current broken system for incentivising medical innovation.
Off-patent or “generic” drugs are, in principle, available to be re-patented as reformulations or new uses to treat new diseases. But the pharmaceutical industry will never pay for clinical trials if an off-patent drug has similar efficacy and active ingredient to the patented drug, and can be prescribed off-label, which means they cannot receive a monopoly price. The same market failure applies to other “unmonopolisable therapies” such as nutraceuticals / supplements, diets and lifestyle interventions. Further, large clinical trials for these off-patent treatments rarely get funded by governments and charities due to the expense (US$1-20m+ per Phase II/III clinical trial) and high risk of failure (50% – 75%) .
Crowd Funded Cures’ mission is to incentivize clinical trials for off-patent therapies that are otherwise ignored because a monopoly price cannot be enforced with patents.
Help us establish a Social Impact Bond for off-patent medicine. Because the best medical science that can help the most patients should get funding it needs, irrespective of patents.
HOW IT WORKSA PAY FOR
A pay for success (PFS) contract (e.g. Social Impact Bond/SIB) backed by Healthcare Payers (e.g. govts, health insurers, philanthropy and public via crowdfunding), correctly implemented, would incentivise Impact Investors to fund large Phase II/III randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to repurpose off-patent / generic drugs / unprofitable therapies in return for outcome payments from the SIB if successful.
The amount of outcome payments under a PFS contract / SIB would be based on Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) gained or cost savings for Healthcare Payers due to the RCT showing that the off-patent treatments work (e.g. % reduction in hospitalisations or improved patient outcomes vs usual care).
The financially innovative idea is to transfer risk from Healthcare Payers (who are more risk-adverse and would only pay for successfully repurposed generic drugs) to the market (who are more willing to bear the risk of RCT failure) which would benefit from the spreading of risk and potentially large upside.
CFC is currently working to execute a feasibility study with the goal of raising a syndicate of payers to back a large ($20-100m+) fund to support a pilot generic drug repurposing Pay-For-Success contract and its administration in a specific disease class with high payer cost burden (e.g Covid-19, mental illness, cancer, autoimmune, age-related illness).
Creating incentives to develop unpatentable medical therapies
ALL ABOUT US
Crowd Funded Cures (CFC) 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/Crypto Legal Consultant and NZ/AU Patent and Trade Mark Attorney. Savva’s partner and family members at the time were being affected by chronic and deadly illnesses, and he was concerned by how otherwise viable medical therapies were not getting funding for clinical trials due to pharma industry’s reliance on the patent system for recovering their R&D expenditure.
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” (including repurposing off-patent drugs and nutraceuticals) was first proposed in Savva’s Masters of Law thesis at the University of Canterbury (NZ) entitled “Deadly gaps in the patent system : an analysis of current and alternative mechanisms for incentivising development of medical therapies. (2014).” The use of Social Impact Bonds (another type of “pay for success” contract) had also been proposed by Bruce Bloom of Cures within Reach, and Findacure UK as a means for incentivising clinical trials for repurposing off-patent drugs to treat rare diseases.
Savva is currently working on a book “PATENT PANDEMIC”, based on his LLM thesis. The book proposes using extended regulatory exclusivity for unpatentable therapies and pay for success contracts / flexible prize incentives for unmonopolisable and unprofitable therapies. It will soon be available on Amazon with 100% of proceeds going to support CFC’s mission.
CFC is in the process of partnering with VitaDAO.com, Molecule.to, Open Source Pharma Foundation and various other stakeholders in order conduct a Feasibility Study by Guidehouse.com and launch CFC DAO. Our goal is build a platform that can leverage pay for success smart contracts and IP-NFTs to repurpose generic drugs and nutraceuticals to improve longevity and create a scalable financial model to develop low cost open source medicines. In order to participate, please join our community on Discord: https://discord.gg/6tFG8RDygW
Founder & CEO
Savva is a Commercial/IP Consultant Legal Counsel and a NZ and Australian Patent and Trade Mark Attorney with 18+ years experience advising in relation to IP, commercial law and crypto. He conducted his LLM thesis on alternatives to the patent system for developing medicines.
Jason Cross, PhD, JD
IP & Regulatory Advisor
Jason is a specialist in life sciences intellectual property and value-based innovation. He was a professor and led a think tank on health innovation at Duke University. Jason is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Rymedi, a blockchain-based healthtech platform for diagnostic testing, treatment administration and patient engagement.
Zan is a business development professional with experience in VC investment sourcing, strategic partnerships, and B2B sales. He is experienced with international market entry for digital health startups into the US, specialising in wellbeing solutions
Dr. William Crown
Dr Crown is a health economist that was former CSO at OptumLab, MIT alum and expert in real world clinical data analysis, focusing upon drawing causal inferences from EHR. He recently co-chaired the ISPOR Task Force on Machine Learning.
Andrew is an IT security professional with 10+ years experience providing ethical hacking services to various clients and open-source software contributions to the security community, included within Kali Linux. He has advised public companies and blockchain projects.
Digital Strategy Advisor
Zack is a software engineer in the financial industry with 10+ years of experience in design, website development, and digital marketing. He holds degrees in graphic communications and computer science from North Carolina State and Western Carolina Universities.
Brahma P. Sen
Veteran health IT professional advising and implementing blockchain, cloud, machine learning, data and system architecture services to US federal government and private industries. Graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology and IT consultant for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Cyrus of Eden
Cyrus of Eden is a multidisciplinary founder, systems designer, and software engineer. The multichain guy at Velodrome Finance and the co-architect of Syndicate Protocol V2, he has been researching and hustling in public goods and regenerative finance since 2021.
Dominic is a communications specialist interested in funding and accelerating clinical trials. He worked with Maurice Saatchi to deliver a UK Act of Parliament speeding up medical innovation within the NHS and has written peer-reviewed papers for the BMJ on new ways of funding clinical trials.
MSc Molecular Medicine
Nick is a published molecular biologist with 6+ years of life science startup industry experience. He is passionate about merging healthcare with the nascent web3 ecosystem. His masters research focused on repurposing off-patent anti-psychotic drugs for anti-cancer therapy.
Scientific Communication Advisor
Ariella is an MD Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis and an experienced science writer and illustrator. She studied Molecular Cell Biology and Japanese at UC Berkeley. As a managing editor at VitaDAO, she strives to promote health literacy, decentralized science, and diversity in STEM.
Amir is a registered UK Pharmacist. He graduated from University College London (UCL). He has experience stemming across hospital, general practice (GP) and community. He also has experience operating a health-tech conference and working with various tech companies.
Strategic & Partnerships Advisor
Spiro has more than 15 years of experience as a consultant working in the health insurance and banking industry. Spiro spent two years with crypto startup Kuva.com and currently advises on the intersection of the decentralized finance (DeFi) economy with emerging federal and state regulations.
Edward Kahn, founded EKMS, Inc. in 1986, pioneering systems and novel approaches to IP portfolio policing and mining. He has over 20 years experience with generic drug repurposing at Cures within Reach and Rediscovery Life Sciences. He has spoken and written extensively on licensing and IP strategy.
Dr Steven Biglesen
Dr. Stephen Bigelsen is an allergist-immunologist in New Jersey with 34 years of experience in the medical field. In July 2016 at the age of 55, he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and began treatment with chemotherapy, and adjunct IV Paricalcitol (an analog of Vitamin D) and realised a complete response.