"Today, two important reports were released that together paint a vivid picture of the role of collaboration in the research ecosystem – one by highlighting partnerships with academic medical centers (AMCs) and one by highlighting the contributions patients make to medical research by participating in clinical trials.
"The first, by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, confirms that, in response to our growing understanding of the mechanism of diseases that our researchers have enjoyed in recent years, collaborations between biopharmaceutical companies and AMCs are an increasingly common, 'naturally complementary' approach to harness the full potential of new scientific discoveries. There are many significant mutual benefits associated with these collaborative efforts, which can range from broad arrangements exploring promising pathways for potential new therapies to translating that research into clinical development, and even collaborations on use of new technologies such as novel diagnostics or nanotechnology.
"These collaborations are focused on a shared goal: medical innovation that benefits patients. And, these medical advances can also help curb long-term healthcare costs.
"By working side by side on cutting-edge science, tools and resources, partnerships allow us to rise to the challenges and opportunities of, for example, personalized medicines and a growing understanding of rare diseases.
"Of course, partnerships with academia represent only one type of collaboration in the research ecosystem. But ultimately, our work would be impossible without one of our most important partners: the patients we serve. This is evidenced by today's second report, the Massachusetts-focused 'Research in Your Backyard.' It details the role that residents of the Bay State have played by participating in clinical trials – and the effect that those trials have had on healthcare and the state's economy.
"This important report found that in Massachusetts, biopharmaceutical research companies are conducting or have conducted nearly 4,000 clinical trials of new medicines in collaboration with the state's clinical research centers, university medical schools and hospitals. More than 2,000 of these have targeted the nation's six most debilitating chronic diseases.
"Of course, patient participation in trials is a necessary part of the process. Nearly 500 of the state's current clinical trials are still recruiting patients. Although trial participants might benefit from getting access to new research therapies before they are widely available, healthy patient volunteers play an equally important role.
"It takes many different partners to make medical progress a reality. As the two reports released today show, we can make a difference in America's future, and the future of America's health, by working together in a collaborative, flexible, constructive way."
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 in discovering and developing new medicines.