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International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

  • The medicine development process is becoming increasingly challenging and in order to address this, industry is thinking creatively about how to innovate more effectively.
  • Companies are increasingly working in partnerships and actively seeking expertise or technology from outside the company.
  • New collaborative platforms are facilitating research on both “mainstream” diseases and “Neglected Diseases”.
  • In order to facilitate sustainable innovation, a collaborative platform needs to be voluntary, encourage Intellectual Property (IP) owners to contribute to the scheme and be flexible enough to adapt to a variety of different circumstances.


The pharmaceutical industry is facing ever-harder scientific challenges to create new medicines to address the health needs of societies around the globe. The medicine development process is becoming an increasingly expensive and difficult. An ever-stricter regulatory environment, coupled with new technological challenges is forcing industry to think creatively about its innovation and business models. In order to meet these new challenges, the pharmaceutical industry is working in collaboration with different players throughout the research and development cycle of new products.

This improved collaboration is taking place in many different ways. Companies are increasingly working in partnerships and licensing in and out technologies and knowledge instead of developing and keeping them in-house. This facilitates the dissemination of technologies and know-how to a much wider scientific community, while allowing industry to incorporate promising external research to its knowledge pool. This collaboration can take place amongst a large range of partners, like academia, public research institutions, Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) and small, medium and large biopharmaceutical companies.

This new way of conducting pharmaceutical innovation is facilitating research on  both “mainstream” diseases and the so-called “Neglected Diseases”. On the latter, pharmaceutical companies often engage with different institutions to advance research where the limited market would not justify the R&D investments, sharing its library of compounds, know-how and/or research infrastructure as needed. This collaborative model has led to a drastic increase in the R&D projects for neglected diseases.