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Time to Think the Way Industry Thinks

Arnie Snider and Reggie Edgerton
Arnie Snider and Reggie Edgerton

For a foundation that has spent its life doing basic research, it's a cold hard reality that translating that work to the clinic is a different world. Academic and philanthropic organizations don't have the resources to bring therapies to patients. It takes big bucks; it is done within a sophisticated regulatory environment. It's a very complex process to move toward clinical trials, FDA approval and eventually, marketing. We’re going to have to collaborate with industry.

Let's say your hypothesis is on the one yard line. You need to understand that as you move down the field the game gets more and more expensive. You have to hand the ball off to industry at some point, maybe at the 20, maybe at the 50. But you can't afford the 50 yard line. We need to think like industry thinks: What does the FDA need to see for you to score a touchdown. It's important to keep the endgame in mind as the pre-clinical work progresses in the lab.

More Progress in Research

The Reeve Foundation is just now facing this new world. But because the pharma industry sees the SCI market as small, we have to pick our spots pretty carefully. Make sure we have best therapies ready for clinical trial. Do we have the right outcome measurements, and are they sensitive enough? Is there intellectual property involved? If there are no patents, there’s really no reason for industry to pursue something. Another thing to consider: how does a treatment get reimbursed? That’s the reality of drug development.

The good news is that there are so many translation opportunities in addressing SCI. There are a huge number of things to look at.

-- Arnold H. Snider, Board of Directors

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders