Publication of negative clinical trials data

By Jackie Hunter

Finally I believe we are making progress in being able to allow companies to easily publish clinical trials data that is either less than positive, or even negative, as this data is extremely valuable for target validation. Of course this is only true if sufficient data is published to allow the reader to be sure it is a failure of the target and not the molecule (see more discussion in my recent editorial in the BJP) .

The industrial group of the British Phamacology Society (of which I am a member) is strongly supportive of this. We hope to find a way to publish short (4-5 pages) communications which would enable this to be done with the minimum of effort, realising that people in industry will have been moved on to other projects.

I would be interested in hearing the views of people in the industry as to the value of this.

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Open Innovation – an opportunity or a diversion?

Reprinted from BioPharmaMarket on the 31st January 2012


Although the term ‘Open Innovation’ was coined relatively recently1, the concept is not a new one: it is about promoting the flow of ideas, from any origin, to any destination, irrespective of organisational boundaries in order to create value.

What is relatively new is the attention that Open Innovation is getting from the Pharmaceutical Industry as an opportunity to address the economic issues that it has been facing.

This paradigm shift is being perceived as an opportunity for all those interested in the Health sector, be they already established players, working in the Life Sciences, or from other sectors entirely such as wireless or IT.


The term, ‘Open Innovation’ was coined by Henry Chessborough in 20031.  It is a concept that several organisations, across various sectors, have already had success with.  Notable examples are: Proctor and Gamble, Philips, Nokia and BT.   Philips’ R&D facility in Eindhoven is a real ‘ecosystem’ for Open Innovation.  The company shares prototyping and other facilities with start-up companies and more established companies on the site.  It has a venture fund that can help spin out companies from Philips as well as providing funds for other start-up ventures.  New companies have access to technical support and also business support via both Philips and the central site services.  It is this initiative that has enabled Philips to rebrand itself as a ‘wellness’ company.

A major challenge to Open Innovation, and one that the Pharmaceutical Industry in particular still needs to come to terms with, is the accompanying change in mindset required.  There are implications for organisational and regulatory cultural changes, including for example the approach to intellectual property and the protection of patient data.

However, many Pharmaceutical Companies are beginning to explore both the opportunities and the challenges of Open Innovation.

Some of the greatest innovation happens at the interface between non-traditional partners – commercial, academic, clinical, government etc.; or when traditional partners begin to work together in new and creative ways to solve problems.   This would seem to be a perfect opportunity for all those with an interest in Health, from whatever sector, to join in exploring the different mind-set involved in Open innovation.

Notes and references

1. Chesbrough H. Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 2003

2. This article was written by OI Pharma Partners –  OI pharma partners helps the Pharmaceutical industry, academia and the public sector use Open Innovation to accelerate drug development and leverage the power of underutilised Intellectual Property.

We use our pharmaceutical expertise, networks and experience of implementing cultural change to understand your needs, explore with you how OI can help achieve your vision and then work with you to implement OI solutions

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Open Innovation – a primer. Notes from an interactive workshop in Cambridge

By Elisabeth Goodman

First joint Cambridge Network and One Nucleus event – on Open Innovation (OI)

On 11th November 2011, OI Pharma Partners, ran an interactive workshop on Open Innovation, bringing insights from the life sciences and IT sectors.

This was the first joint event organised by Cambridge Network and One Nucleus, and it attracted a good number of delegates from a cross-section of disciplines, and from small, medium, and corporate organisations. Participants also had a range of prior experience of Open Innovation – from none at all, to utilising it as an existing way of working for their organisations.

The slides from the event are available in our slideshare account via the OI Pharma Partners web site.  This blog captures the notes from the interactive discussions and break-out sessions.

What is Open Innovation?

The phrase ‘Open Innovation’ was first coined by Henry Chesbrough and described in Open Innovation: The New Imperative (HBS Press, 2003), although the principles behind the concept had been understood and widely practiced by many organisations such as Procter and Gamble, Phillips and BT, before then.

These were the definitions of OI that participants came up with in an initial brainstorm led by Dr Michael Barnes:

  • Collaboration
  • Shared Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Trust
  • Achieving more through combining
  • Outward looking
  • Best Practice
  • Growing value
  • Understanding internal limitations
  • Learning
  • Creativity
  • Shared Knowledge
  • Delivery (!) of the best
  • Connecting
  • Networking
  • Cross-sector

What can Open Innovation mean for you?

Our second interactive exercise, introduced by Dr Jackie Hunter, consisted of asking the delegates to consider how OI could be relevant to them, and what the barriers and enablers might be.

New opportunities that delegates came up with included:

  • Identifying a wider range of companies wanting solutions for using their software than those they had more traditionally worked with
  • Outsourcing the management of consortia for OI, rather than trying to do this themselves (and then potentially partnering with the supplier)
  • Using new networks that delegates had created as the result of specific OI initiatives, to then explore further OI opportunities
  • Working with multiple external research groups

Identified OI barriers and enablers included:

Barriers Enablers
Knowing what to do, how to manage the proliferation of information and contacts that will arise from OI Using Innovation Hubs to help manage, support, guide those involved in OI
Having access to tool kits of best practice
The challenge of sharing across sectors Using existing networks (such as Cambridge Network, and One Nucleus)
Participating in LinkedIn innovation groups

Key thoughts associated with OI collaboration

In the final interactive exercise, also introduced by Dr Jackie Hunter, delegates were asked to partner and role-play, either as a large corporate company with an SME or academic institution, or as an innovator with a consumer.

Key insights that participants brought back from the exercise included:

  • The importance of having the right (or matching) mind-set between the partners
  • The recognition that the ‘down-sides’ will take longer to sort out than the ‘up-sides’ – and hence the importance of sharing the risks of OI as well as the profits. [Earlier in the session, Jackie Hunter had suggested that prospective partners prepare ‘pre-nuptial’ style agreements to cover all of these possible scenarios.]
  • The value of a ‘blue-book’ of best practices, or a check-list
  • The potential for having a definition of pre-competitive markets
  • The need for flexible processes and timescales
  • The impact of the relative size of the respective partners on multiple aspects of the OI collaboration
  • The criticality of having not only one, but multiple senior sponsors (to allow for turn-over during the life of the OI collaboration)
  • The importance of ensuring that the collaboration is in-line with organisational strategy
  • Each partner having a good self-awareness of what they do and do not know, and of what they can, and cannot do
  • Understanding that the partners will have different levels of emotional involvement, and being aware of what these different levels are
  • The benefit that association with an academic institution will bring to a commercial partner’s brand, and the benefit of the infrastructure and support (together with speed and funding) that a commercial partner will bring to academia
  • Knowing how best to manage discussions with Corporate partners with respect to exclusivity for OI outcomes.


  1. OI Pharma Partners was founded in 2010, by Dr Jackie Hunter.  Its focus is on adding value to Healthcare industries by realising the power of Open Innovation. OI Pharma Partners uses its scientific expertise and extensive networks for OI strategy formulation (diagnosis and development) and implementation (accessing networks / partners, best practices in collaborative project management).  OI Pharma Partners will also act as an OI intermediary (IP brokering, novel ideas / technologies).
  2. Elisabeth Goodman and Dr Michael Barnes are co-founders of OI Pharma Partners.
  3. OI Pharma Partners would like to thank Louise Rushworth of Cambridge Network and Philip Kendall of One Nucleus, without whose enthusiasm and support this event would not have been possible.  Also Roz Bird for providing the excellent workshop venue at Granta Park.
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Sequencing technology is in for an exciting ride

Dr Jackie Hunter, CEO and Founder of OI Pharma Partners, recently listened to a very important Cambridge Healthtech Associates Webex entitled ‘When People Share Their Genomes on Facebook: The Impact on Science and Society’.

The key themes that emerged were:

1) The lack of engagement of the medical community currently with this type of information
2) There will be a need for them in the future to engage as people present them with their personal data
3) Although very soon it will be cheaper to sequence the whole genome than do individual tests, the lack of predicivity means that the information will not be readily of use
4) There will be more focus on variation within an individual genome eg with time, disease.

There are many key issues:
– How will the information be used?
– Will people be protected from abuse of the information eg for insurance or marketing purposes?
– Who owns the data posted on social media platforms?
– What will be the view of regulators such as the FDA?

It is clear though that the train has already left the station in terms of the ‘sequencing technology platform’ – whichever tracks it takes, its sure to be an exciting ride.

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Accenture stresses importance of Open Innovation for Pharmaceutical R&D

Earlier this month, Elisabeth Goodman, co-founder member and principal consultant at oi pharma partners, shared a speakers’ platform with Mitali Sharma, Senior Executive at Accenture, at IQPCs 2nd Business Process Excellence in Pharmaceuticals, Biotech and Medical Devices.

Mitali suggested that a combination of ‘Lean Innovation’ (simplifying and streamlining) and ‘Open Innovation’ (collaboration externally and engagement internally) were needed to change the Pharmaceutical R&D model and so enable R&D to not only “do the right projects”, but “to do them right”.

Mitali described the results of a survey which suggested that the main obstacles encountered to innovation were a failure to meet customer needs (63% of issues), or getting products or services late to market (54% of issues).

She described Open Innovation as being both a collaborative effort: raising the ‘power of mind to the power of x’, and one of engaging the ‘innovation DNA throughout the organisation’.

(A full version of Elisabeth Goodman and her associate John Riddell’s write-up of the 2-day conference can be found on her personal blog –

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A new force for open innovation in pharma and healthcare: OI pharma partners announces launch

Press Release

OI pharma partners (‘OI pharma partners’ or the ‘Company’)

Hertfordshire, 25 March 2011. OI pharma partners, a pharma and healthcare consultancy focused on the application of open innovation principles to healthcare research and development was formally launched today. The company is led by a highly experienced team of pharmaceutical R&D professionals, headed by Dr Jackie Hunter, CBE. Dr Hunter has over 20 years of Pharmaceutical leadership experience, most recently as SVP at GlaxoSmithKline, developing their external R&D innovation strategy. Prior to this she was the head of the Neurology and Gastrointestinal (NGI) Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD), accountable for discovery and early clinical development in Gastroenterology and Neurology. She has played significant roles in the implementation and governance of major international industrial and public-private partnerships.

The new company has already secured an EU grant to work with key stakeholders in healthcare to develop a 2020 open innovation healthcare strategy for the EU. This will be launched in Cyprus to mark their Presidency in 2012. OI pharma partners are now seeking to initiate collaborations with Pharma R&D, Biotech and Healthcare companies who would like to implement an open innovation strategy in their own organisation. OI pharma partners can help to identify specific strategic areas where value can be added internally, making better use of internal IP. It can also source the best innovators and innovative technology globally by use of its Proprietary Innovation Pool. The company is experienced in driving cultural change to improve the adoption of OI strategies within organisations with its Innovation Implementation Programme.

Jackie Hunter, founder and Chief Executive Officer of OI pharma partners, commented “OI pharma partners helps the Pharmaceutical industry, academia and the public sector use Open Innovation to accelerate drug development and leverage the power of underutilised Intellectual Property. We use our strategic expertise, pharmaceutical knowledge, global networks and experience of implementing cultural change to understand the needs of the client, explore with them how OI can help achieve this vision and then work with the client to implement OI solutions”.

Michael Barnes, Co-founder and Principal Consultant at OI pharma partners, commented “At OI pharma partners, we are all passionate about making open innovation work for drug discovery and development. That’s not always easy, but after working on a number of international open innovation projects we know the best practices in open innovation to revitalise research, reduce cost and improve productivity.”

Elisabeth Goodman, Co-founder and Principal Consultant at OI pharma partners, added “Open Innovation requires a different mind-set and way of working.  OI pharma partners will not only identify new opportunities for partners to create value but will help clients to plan and implement the cultural change which is key to their success.”
For further information please contact:
Jackie Hunter CEO – OI Pharma Partners,

About OI pharma partners

OI pharma partners is a life science consultancy company focused on application of open innovation principles to research in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare sector. OI pharma partners’ Proprietary Innovation Pool allows clients to access the best innovators and innovative technology, while the company’s Innovation Implementation programme is designed to change internal R&D by a process of radical innovation.

Further information on OI pharma partners can be found at the Company’s website:

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Welcome to OI pharma partners’ new blog site

The challenge:

Pharmaceutical R&D is under pressure to innovate to counter rising operational costs, depleted pipelines and a deluge of patent expiries. Open Innovation (OI) is a proven business model for increasing value and innovation through partnership.

At OI pharma partners we believe there are OI solutions to all the major challenges of drug discovery and development.

Our vision:

OI pharma partners helps the Pharmaceutical industry, academia and the public sector use Open Innovation to accelerate drug development and leverage the power of underutilised Intellectual Property.

We use our pharmaceutical expertise, networks and experience of implementing cultural change to understand your needs, explore with you how OI can help achieve your vision and then work with you to implement OI solutions.

Our customers:

  • Large and medium size pharma
  • Research funding organisations
  • Drug regulatory agencies
  • Life science businesses
  • Public sector
  • Academia
  • Non-governmental organisations

Find out more about us at

Or contact us at

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