IBJNews

Q&A

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Alph Bingham spent more than 28 years at Eli Lilly and Co. and from there co-founded InnoCentive Inc., a Massachusetts-based organization that organizes crowdsourcing to help companies solve internal challenges. The Carmel resident spoke about the challenges now facing pharmaceutical companies, which are buckling under ever-rising costs to develop new drugs with lower rates of success and worsening prospects for reimbursement. Bingham’s solution is for pharma to embrace crowdsourcing and other “open innovation” concepts in order to spread the risk of R&D among more partners.

IBJ: How can drug companies rethink their research and development processes to adapt to this new age of austerity?

BINGHAM: I don’t frame where the industry is at as a cost problem, or a productivity problem. I frame it as a risk problem. If you recognize it as a risk problem, then you realize there’s a whole population of people out there willing to share the risk with you: patients. There’s also the fact that you’ve got all these in academia that want to test this ligand [a kind of organic molecule]. They’ll test it for you. All you have to do is pay in ligands. There’s a lot of risk-sharing opportunities that you miss when you think of it in a cost-sharing environment.

IBJ: How would sharing risk with patients and physicians help drug companies?

BINGHAM: You’ve got a professional skill here, medicine, that perfectly lends itself to crowd-intelligence types of mechanisms. Because the crowd has more intelligence, more bandwidth. The medical community needs to figure out how to tap into that crowd knowledge. It’s not that they are not doing it, but they’re doing it in a pretty rudimentary way. I envision crowdsourced clinical trials on R&D. You would begin at that point simulating the market experience to a greater degree. Some of the variables that get introduced after [a drug] is launched would be introduced [before] the time of launch.

IBJ: Isn’t reducing costs a way for pharmaceutical companies to reduce their risks, too?

BINGHAM: Getting the cost down is getting the risk down, obviously. I don’t want to dismiss the importance of doing that. I simply point out that, again, how much cheaper are we really talking about? There’s a handful of risk management and risk attenuation that are experimented with, but it’s dabbling. Bounty mechanisms like InnoCentive uses could be much more widespread. Drug companies could use royalties from future sales to pay for research. They need to be managing a whole set of innovation challenges. Ten percent of work [should be] going through internal, not 99 percent. But how many boards would follow a truly visionary CEO down this path? The easiest story to tell is that the good old days are just around the corner. They don’t want to see the story about how we’re completely restructuring this as a series of external channels.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Once a Marion Co. commuter tax is established, I'm moving my organization out of Indianapolis. Face it, with the advancement in technology, it's getting more cost effective to have people work out of their homes. The clock is running out on the need for much of the office space in Indianapolis. Establishing a commuter tax will only advance the hands of the clock and the residents of Indianapolis will be left to clean up the mess they created on their own, with much less resources.

  2. The 2013 YE financial indicates the City of Indianapolis has over $2 B in assets and net position of $362.7 M. All of these assets have been created and funded by taxpayers. In 2013 they took in $806 M in revenues. Again, all from tax payers. Think about this, Indianapolis takes in $800 M per year and they do not have enough money? The premise that government needs more money for services is false.

  3. As I understand it, the idea is to offer police to live in high risk areas in exchange for a housing benefit/subsidy of some kind. This fact means there is a choice for the officer(s) to take the offer and receive the benefit. In terms of mandating living in a community, it is entirely reasonable for employers to mandate public safety officials live in their community. Again, the public safety official has a choice, to live in the area or to take another job.

  4. The free market will seek its own level. If Employers cannot hire a retain good employees in Marion Co they will leave and set up shop in adjacent county. Marion Co already suffers from businesses leaving I would think this would encourage more of the same.

  5. We gotta stop this Senior crime. Perhaps long jail terms for these old boozers is in order. There are times these days (more rather than less) when this state makes me sick.

ADVERTISEMENT