Can Open-Source R&D Reinvigorate Drug Research?

Bernard Munos | Nature Reviews | September 15, 2006

Open-source research, which started as a counterculture movement in the software industry 15 years ago, has since grown into a business model whose best-known product, Linux, has become a credible alternative to Microsoft's Windows.

Now, with biology increasingly becoming an information-orientated science, some have suggested that what worked for software might be part of the answer to the spiralling cost of drug R&D.

With this in mind, this article examines the relevance to pharmaceutical R&D of the open-source model developed by the software industry. In this context, open-source no longer refers to source code, but instead to the open origin of contributors.