Conshohocken-Based Non-Profit Aims to Revolutionize Biopharma

T. J. Sharpe | | December 1, 2016

What if the next big thing in biopharma wasn’t produced by one of the big pharma companies that line the Northeast corridor between Philadelphia and New York City, but by a whole bunch of them?  Conshohocken-based TransCelerate BioPharma is attempting to accomplish this difficult feat by embracing cooperation instead of competition.  It is a 501(c)3 non-profit consortium of 18 pharmaceutical companies (and growing) that works with the FDA and global regulators to advance the industry through collaboration with researchers, industry organizations, and federal oversight agencies.

Launched in 2012, their slogan of “accelerating the development of new medicines” was initially met with skepticism – prior attempts at industry bar-raising did not have a solid track record.  After realizing pharma companies tend to be risk-averse, the team began by focusing inward – the initial group of ten members asked the simple question, “If we WERE to collaborate, what COULD we do differently?”   The answers generally had similar sponsor-efficiency themes: Do more with less.  Bring products to market faster.  Reduce development cycle time.

TransCelerate began with five initial goals that have expanded to 16 different initiatives, divided into four areas: Patients, Sites, Sponsors, and Information Sharing & Harmonization.  One important aspect of these initiatives is they are all voluntary; the “Member Companies” are not obliged to implement any or all of the proposed/active workstreams.  As the group evolves, they are becoming more patient-centric – looking into creating better awareness of clinical research, and branching out to involve patient advocacy groups...