NEW YORK, August 20, 2018 – InvestAcure, PBC announced today that founder and CEO Max Tokarsky would present a keynote address at the 14th World Summit on Alzheimer’s Disease in Boston on August 31.
According to the World Health Organization, 50 million people worldwide have dementia and Alzheimer's disease. With no available cure, it's the seventh leading cause of global deaths and the third leading cause of death in high-income countries.
The Boston summit brings together researchers from around the world focused on groundbreaking research to slow, reverse or prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
We can cure Alzheimer's in our mice every week, but when it comes to clinical research where real progress needs to be made to cure people, there is simply no funding available.
Hugo Geerts, Ph.D
CSO of In Silico Biosciences , former head of Alzheimer's drug discovery for Johnson & Johnson Belgium
Max Tokarsky's keynote presentation is titled “The Enigma of Eroom's Law and The Wall Street Math Stifling Alzheimer's Drug Discovery.”
As the prevalence of Alzheimer's grows, so do the costs, it imposes on society. Yet, despite a significant number of drugs showing promise in animal models, progress is being stifled by a breakdown in the ROI (return on investment) model at the clinical stage of drug discovery.
As a society, we depend on profit-driven drug companies to take scientific breakthroughs and develop them into life-saving cures. While governments and charities do a fine job in funding scientific research at university and government labs, once a discovery is made, it is left up to profit-driven companies to invest the vast sums needed for drug development and clinical trials to turn those scientific discoveries into life-saving medications.
While the process of trial and error of real-world Phase 1 & 2 clinical trials is integral to increasing our understanding of disease and progress to a cure, the business model for turning science into drugs and treatments companies can sell, has steadily eroded. The average cost of developing a new drug, per billion U.S. dollars spent on R&D, has doubled roughly every nine years since 1950. That means, adjusted for inflation, it costs 80 times more to develop a new drug today than it did in 1950! The observation of this trend was coined Eroom's Law by industry analyst Jack Scannell in 2012, writing in “Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.”
The current ROI from internal R&D in the pharmaceutical industry, as a whole, is an average of just 3.7 percent. For Alzheimer's, this model has broken down altogether, leading most major pharmaceuticals to downsize or close their Alzheimer's research divisions.
To help address this investment bottleneck, Bill Gates and other major philanthropists working with Dr. Howard Fillit at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), have set up a $30 million venture philanthropy fund, with donations made to the fund being invested in helping nurture early-stage companies.
InvestAcure, PBC offers another model, coined Common Need Investment (CNI), which refers to investments made in a company based on its pursuit of essential work valued by the investors above financial profit or loss. Unlike venture philanthropy where funds are donated to a charity which in turn invests in companies, in InvestAcure’s CNI model, each investor invests a small amount each month – just ‘spare change,’ and directly owns shares in companies they invest in. The idea is to see drug companies owned by millions of ‘spare change investors’ committed to curing Alzheimer’s.
To realize this goal, the company is building a spare change investment platform to enable those impacted by Alzheimer's to partner in the search for a cure by rounding-up day-to-day transactions and investing the spare change in clinical stage pharmaceuticals working on promising drugs.
While spare change doesn't seem like a lot, automatically rounding up one's transaction adds up to about $50 per month, on average. Twenty-six percent or 70 million adults in the U.S. alone have a relative with Alzheimer's. If just 1.5 percent become spare change investors, that's $600 million annually – $3 billion over five years, leading to more clinical trials, more drugs, and drug combinations tested and progress to a cure.
Max Tokarsky is the Founder & CEO of InvestAcure, PBC, he is a lifelong social entrepreneur, non-profit executive and a graduate of the Wharton Entrepreneurship program. Max can be reached at [email protected].
Source: InvestAcure, PBC
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