Crowdfunding drug development: the state of play in oncology and rare diseases

Drug Discov Today. 2014 Nov;19(11):1775-1780. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2014.06.019. Epub 2014 Jun 25.


In this article, we present descriptive data on 125 crowdfunding campaigns aimed at financing research in oncology (including basic research, drug discovery, and clinical trials). We also describe five campaigns that have succeeded in raising substantial funds to support the development of treatments for ultrarare diseases. The data suggest that crowdfunding is a viable approach to supporting early proof-of-concept research that could allow researchers in oncology and rare diseases to succeed in traditional grant competitions or to attract private investment. The data also suggest that such an approach could become a valuable additional source of funding for early-stage innovators in the drug development arena.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research
  • Drug Discovery
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Rare Diseases / drug therapy
  • Research Support as Topic*