Introduction: The cost to develop a new drug from target discovery to market is a staggering $1.8 billion, largely due to the very high attrition rate of drug candidates and the lengthy transition times during development. Open access is an emerging model of open innovation that places no restriction on the use of information and has the potential to accelerate the development of new drugs.
Areas covered: To date, no quantitative assessment has yet taken place to determine the effects and viability of open access on the process of drug translation. This need is addressed within this study. The literature and intellectual property landscapes of the drug candidate JQ1, which was made available on an open access basis when discovered, and conventionally developed equivalents that were not are compared using the Web of Science and Thomson Innovation software, respectively.
Expert opinion: Results demonstrate that openly sharing the JQ1 molecule led to a greater uptake by a wider and more multi-disciplinary research community. A comparative analysis of the patent landscapes for each candidate also found that the broader scientific diaspora of the publically released JQ1 data enhanced innovation, evidenced by a greater number of downstream patents filed in relation to JQ1. The authors' findings counter the notion that open access drug discovery would leak commercial intellectual property. On the contrary, JQ1 serves as a test case to evidence that open access drug discovery can be an economic model that potentially improves efficiency and cost of drug discovery and its subsequent commercialization.
Keywords: Bromodomain; Drug Discovery; Epigenetics; Healthcare Translation; JQ1; Open Access; Open Innovation; SGC (Structural Genomics Consortium).