About Crowd Funded Cures
Crowd Funded Cures (CFC) is an initiative of the Medical Prize Charitable Trust, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping prove that cheap and natural therapies work, by using crowdfunded prizes for clinical trials.
The aim of the first Crowd Funded Cures project is to help put effective cheap and natural treatments and cures for Crohn’s Disease into your doctor’s medicine chest.
The pilot project of Crowd Funded Cures involves crowdfunding a Crohn’s Disease medical prize fund of at least US$10m that will reward successful randomised controlled trials of unmonopolisable therapies for Crohn’s disease (e.g. diets such as SCD, LOFFLEX, enteral nutrition, dietary supplements such as Vitamin D, fish oil, curcumin, second uses of generic drugs such as LDN, natural therapies such as helminths and fecal transplantation).
Crohn’s disease has significant healthcare costs (e.g. US$1.8 billion per annum in the US), requiring a lifetime of expensive medication, surgeries and outpatient care. Many unmonopolisable therapies for Crohn’s disease exist, but they need clinical trial evidence to be proven as effective. Prizes for successful clinical trials of unmonopolisable therapies will help get these treatments to patients. Prizes are superior to grants because they only pay for successful outcomes whereas grants are slow and inefficient.
Crowd Funded Cures is an initiative of the Medical Prize Charitable Trust for crowdfunding an incentive prize fund for unmonopolisable therapies which lack private incentives for development under the current patent system.
‘Unmonopolisable therapies’, are therapies with potentially high social value which lack private incentives for development as they cannot be exploited using patents. Examples of such therapies include second indications for cheap generic drugs or drug combinations for which patents cannot be used to prevent “off-label” use by doctors or patients. For the same reason, patents cannot be used practically to enforce monopoly prices for diets, dietary supplements, lifestyle interventions, surgical methods, “natural” remedies, and many complementary and alternative medicines. Unmonopolisable therapies fall within a broader subset of “unprofitable therapies” which include therapies for neglected/third world diseases, as an innovator company could not recover enough money from the market to justify significant R&D investment, even if they had patent protection.
Crowd Funded Cures will crowdfund an incentive prize for showing safety and efficacy of unmonopolisable therapies with randomised controlled trials.
The prize fund will be implemented as follows:
1. Donors pledge money towards an incentive prize fund;
2. Randomised controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of at least 100 patients showing clinical efficacy of an unmonopolisable/unprofitable therapy for a particular disease are “registered” with the prize fund for 5 years; and
3. Prize panel allocates rewards to the registered RCTs proportional to clinical impact in 5 annual instalments.
As donors only pay for successful RCTs, the risk of RCT failure is shifted to the market. RCTs of unmonopolisable therapies cost US$1-2 million, therefore, a US$10 million prize can provide a viable ROI. With payment of fixed annual rewards, the mechanism is self-correcting, as the registration of additional RCTs will decrease the amount of likely rewards and vice-versa. This means sponsors of RCTs are not under or overcompensated. The larger the prize, the greater the incentives to fund RCTs. Notably, the prize does not pay for failed RCTs, which still comprise highly valuable information.
Prize rewards will allocated by the prize panel according to incremental clinical impact vs usual care. For example, a “registered” RCT may show that an unmonopolisable therapy for Crohn’s disease lowers CDAI by 150 points over usual care on average and another RCT shows a reduction of 100 points and another RCT shows a reduction of 70 points. In that case, the $2m annual rewards will be allocated in a ratio of 150/100/70 for that year (with RCTs eligible to receive rewards for 5 years in total). Notably, each of these “registered” RCTs show an improvement over usual care and therefore represent a clinical breakthrough for patients. The prize fund “de-risks” the potential efficacy of an unmonopolisable therapy so charities and/or government organisations would fund larger trials to test whether the results can be reproduced. In the event larger RCTs do not confirm efficacy, the RCT will be “de-registered” from the prize fund. Without such “de-risking”, charities and/or government organisations rarely fund large RCTs preferring to leave this to private industry.
For certain medical therapies, patents cannot be used to enforce monopoly prices that are necessary to recover R&D invested in the therapy (“Unmonopolisable Therapies”). Unmonopolisable Therapies include second uses of generic drugs, uses of readily available chemicals or “natural” compounds, diets, dietary supplements, lifestyle interventions, surgical interventions, and many complementary and alternative medicines.
Examples “Unmonopolisable Therapies” for Crohn’s disease:
· Vitamin D for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20491740
· Semi-vegetarian diet for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2877178/
· Specific carbohydrate diet (IBD-AID) for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.umassmed.edu/uploadedFiles/MBD_Poster59_EDITED_5-15-2011.pdf
· EEN for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16928225
· Enteric-coated fish oil capsules for treatment of Crohn’s disease http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199606133342401; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17443620
· Cannabis for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21910367
· Off-patent Low-dose-naltrexone (LDN) for Crohn’s disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21380937 ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17222320; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23188075
· Anti-MAP therapy (combination of generic antibiotics) for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1590865802800561
· Low starch diet for treatment of Crohn’s disease and ankylosing spondylitis through inhibition of Klebsiella pneumonia microbe – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21955846
· Soluble plant fibres (plantain and broccoli) for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v7/n12/full/nrgastro.2010.180.html; http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/bmj-pab082510.php
· N-acetyl glucosamine for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11121904
· Hydroxytryptophan and L-tyrosine (serotonin and dopamine amino acid precursors) for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3108661/
· Helminthic therapy for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://gut.bmj.com/content/54/1/87.short
· Fecal transplantation for treatment of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis – http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v9/n2/abs/nrgastro.2011.244.html; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12811208
· Saccharomyces boulardii (probiotics) in Maintenance Treatment of Crohn’s Disease – http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1005588911207
· Mesenchymal stromal cells (stem cells) for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://gut.bmj.com/content/59/12/1662.short
· Autologous and/or allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for treatment of Crohn’s disease – http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/116/26/5790.full
Examples of “Unmonopolisable Therapies” for cancer and other diseases:
· Off-patent NSAID oxyphenbutazone (OPB) for treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis – http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/1950s-nsaid-kills-resistant-tuberculosis/81247295/
· Off-patent MDMA for depression – http://www.maps.org/research/mdma/
· Vitamin C for treatment of HIV – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1698293?dopt=Abstract
· Vitamin C for treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis – http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n5/full/ncomms2898.html
· Vitamin C for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12076225
· Vitamin C to improve outcomes after surgery – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1422648/
· Vitamin E for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease – http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1810379
· Vitamin B for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease – http://www.pnas.org/content/110/23/9523.abstract
· Vitamin B6 for prevention of colon cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20233826.
· Vitamin D for treatment and prevention of breast cancer – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122142911.htm.
· Vitamin D for treatment of Type 2 diabetes – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18279409.
· Falcarinol (natural compound present in carrots) for treatment and/or prevention of colon cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15740080.
· S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) – supplement for treating depression – http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/study-shows-same-may-ease-depression/
· Off-patent chlomipramine for treatment of brain tumors – http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=1096
· Off-patent imipramine and promethazine (antidepressants) for treatment of small cell lung cancer – http://www.sciencenewsline.com/articles/2013092711260001.html
· Ketogenic Diet for treatment of epilepsy – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18301085
· Medical food L-methylfolate for treatment of depression – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/189730.php
· Beetroot juice/nitrate supplementation for hypertension – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22152901
· Curcumin for treatment of prostate cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23042094
· Curcumin for treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17472706
· Curcumin for maintenance of remission for Ulcerative Colitis – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17101300
· Coenzyme Q10 for treatment of heart disease – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130525143852.htm
· Garlic for treatment of hypertension – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2442048/
· Dark chocolate for treatment of hypertension – http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/8/39
· Green tea for lowering cholesterol – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11897173
· Grapeseed extract for prevention of prostate cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21598177
· Generic ibuprofen for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease – http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2011/03/01/WNL.0b013e31820f2d79
· Generic pioglitazone for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease – http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/clinical_trials/NCT01280123.htm
· Cannabis for treatment of cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475304; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16501583; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3442177/
· Avastin for (relatively) cheap treatment of age related macular degeneration – http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e3162
· Antibiotics for treatment of peptic ulcer disease – http://www.cdd.com.au/pages/disease_info/heliobacter_pylori.html
· Antibiotics for lower back pain – http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/may/07/antibiotics-cure-back-pain-patients
· Generic Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Tuberculosis vaccine for reversing Type I diabetes – http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0041756
· Oral rehydration therapy (i.e. sugar, salt and water) for treatment of cholera – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_rehydration_therapy
· Male circumcision for prevention of HIV transmission – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673607603122
· Low calorie crash diet for treatment of Type II diabetes – http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00125-011-2204-7
· Gastric bypass surgery for treatment of Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24018646
· Exercise for prevention of depression – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379713004510
· High EPA fish oil for prevention of onset of psychotic disorders – http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=210554; http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD001257/polyunsaturated-fatty-acid-supplementation-for-schizophrenia
· An extensive list of unmonopolisable dietary supplements and herbs is available on the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre Website with evidence regarding their efficacy for treatment and prevention of various diseases – http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/about-herbs
NOTHING POSTED ON THIS PAGE CONSTITUTES MEDICAL ADVICE.
Please seek the opinion of a medical professional before considering whether to try any “unmonopolisable therapy” referred to on this page.
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