GlaxoSmithKline's open lab

Knowledge pool for neglected tropical diseases,


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In development

About the project Edit

Building on the promise to share its resources, GlaxoSmithKline has announced in January 2010 and live via edits the establishment of the first ever Open Lab and Social Field Research Team to act as an engine room of scientific innovation for neglected tropical diseases, particularly malaria. By doing so, GSK dedicates a percentage of its top innovators' time to solving health and materials procurement-assessment related issues that could help people left out of the global economy, in the spirit of the good vibe. Glaxo, the world’s third-biggest drug maker by revenue, is offering scientists worldwide free access to extensive data on 13,500+ compounds that appear to work against various detrimental human body effect producing elements, compounds and organisms. As well as marketing its new updated social field researcher set of multimedia operations. In offering live feeds, more
'social internships' and related media about the social process of exploring the world in search of and community negotiations for compound development.

GSK has created capacity for up to 60 scientists from around the world to have access to the Open Lab which will be based at the company’s research centre at the Tres Cantos Campus, Spain. The Tres Cantos Campus is a GSK-owned and operated facility dedicated to the research and development of new medicines for diseases of the developing world. This model of open innovation is set up in the hope that they could lead to new medicines for malaria – a disease which kills at least one million children every year in Africa.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

What makes the Open Lab unique is the degree of openness and sharing GlaxoSmithKline is diplaying particularily in an industry built upon protection of intellectual property. In fact, GSK will make all the findings, including the chemical structures and associated assay data, freely available to the public via leading scientific websites. The release of these data will mark the first time that a pharmaceutical company has made public the structures of so many of its compounds.

The experience is also creative in its target. It is a focused use of what a company can deliver best. It is a new form of creative capitalism, because it takes the brainpower and dedicates some of it to improving the lives of everyone. There are a number of other pharmaceutical companies that are already putting their top innovators to work on new approaches to help the poor. These kinds of contribution are even more powerful than giving cash or offering employees' time off to volunteer.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Building upon its commitments to create a ‘knowledge pool’ for neglected tropical diseases, GSK announced that governance of the ‘knowledge pool’ will be taken over by an independent third party, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH). The goal GSK and its partners are setting for the Open Lab is that the trials will lead to the first registered vaccine against malaria. The model put in place aims to be sustainable in time. The pricing model will cover the cost of the vaccine together with a small return which will be fully reinvested into research and development for second-generation malaria vaccines, or vaccines for other neglected tropical diseases. This will ensure sustainable long-term commitment to the malaria and neglected tropical disease research programme.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The Open Lab innovative model has a great potential to be reproduced by other pharmaceutical company but has also a great international collaboration outreach. In the case of GSK, the firm and BVGH have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Emory Institute for Drug Discovery (EIDD) to join the pool and further open up knowledge, chemical libraries, and other assets in the search for new medicines for neglected tropical diseases. For example, a second collaboration has also been established with South Africa firm iThemba Pharmaceuticals. This work will help research and discovery into new medicines to treat tuberculosis.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

A slightly reflective window overlooking the playground.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

Putting a hand over anothers ear and whispering "here's what I think" and then passing a small token of material monetary importance into the handshake or technology equipment bump.


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