Breaking the R&D deadlock: could Open Labs be the key to cracking the world’s toughest health problems?
Monday, November 17, 2014
In January, 2010, an unprecedented step was taken to progress research into diseases of the developing world when global pharmaceutical company GSK announced it was creating the world’s first Open Lab. The doors of its Tres Cantos diseases of the developing world research facility just outside Madrid would be unlocked and external researchers would be invited in, to work alongside GSK scientists. 4 years since its creation, the Open Lab model is emerging as a success story. The Tres Cantos facility is now a thriving international hub for research into diseases of the developing world and GSK is currently establishing a second Open Lab for research in to non-communicable diseases in Africa. There’s now a growing consensus that this open innovation approach is key to tackling disease in the developing world.
It’s imperative that we find new, better treatments for the diseases affecting the world’s poorest communities. Primarily because the scale of human suffering at the hands of these diseases is immense and we have a responsibility to address this. But also because helping people live more productive and prosperous lives will inevitably boost economic development in these countries, the positive effects of which would reverberate globally.