DALLAS, TX / ACCESSWIRE / February 26, 2019 / What if there was a way to prioritize drug discovery by the consumer? By probability of FDA approval? AND by the science itself rather than the traditional big patent pay day? IKU is addressing all of the above with the IKU DAO. AND they are opening it to the world.
For those unfamiliar with the DAO – decentralized autonomous organization – the concept was birthed out of the blockchain uprising, basically an opt-in jurisdiction you need to stake with digital assets to participate in governance and collateralization of agreements. It is a smart contract, where the bylaws of the decentralized organization are embedded into code. The intention is to create an open p2p network, and in the context of IKU, the DAO would essentially be a global marketplace accelerating funds and development for bio-innovation, allowing anyone to create, license, and trade fundable bio datasets.
CEO Gregory Rigano, with his experience in pharmaceutical IP Law and as advisor to Stanford SPARK, has been leading IKU for almost two years now, aligning all pieces necessary to make such a project work. One critical infrastructure element being the artificial neural network dubbed ELI, used to derisk all proposed projects by prioritizing FDA approval. The plan is for ELI to function in tandem with the wisdom of the biomedical crowd in determining the viability of projects and whether not you would fund, a method in simplifying for the consumer.
The other element being Ethereum (for now), required for the smart contract implementation and tokenization of IP.
Important sidenote: As a treatment passes through phase I, II, and III, and then into the market after FDA approval, the market value tends to exponentially increase, and a lot of times into the $ billions. The license value of the associated data obviously increases. After reading the whitepaper, it seems as IKU is sort of like a pseudo ETF where you can participate in the funding and development of r&d with the mutual interest of delivering treatments and biotechnologies to market. The value of the license is essentially the market facilitator. There’s a lot going on here, but the UI in their alpha greatly simplifies thankfully.
My first impression of IKU: OK, this is quite ambitious. AI and blockchain, quite the buzzword combo. But after drilling into their alpha, seeing their research relationship with Stanford SPARK and Oxford University, as well as a planned fundraiser for a clinical trial to treat Alzheimer’s Disease this summer in collaboration with MakerDAO, I realized IKU is not just a bunch of anti-pharma anarchists. They are very much real and they are going for it.
Their research collaboration with Oxford’s Health Economics Research Centre on manufactured drug auction mechanisms and incentivization of lesser known disease markets is currently ongoing and is set to be released in the near future with plans of incorporating the results into the DAO model.
Stanford SPARK greatly influence their business model as well. IKU employs the Stanford University SPARK MONEYBALL strategy – driving undervalued r&d into the market – which has generated an additional 1,000% follow-on funding for SPARK funded r&d. SPARK prioritizes science, a complete 180 from the Big Pharma approach, and has generated unprecedented results.
But what about patents? How do you incentivize an industry that is notoriously silo’d to participate in the IKU model if everyone is chasing patents? Gregory Rigano addresses my patent questions below:
Greg: The patent pay day is what drives investment into biotechnology, the 20 year exclusivity period. The issue is the internet and digital age makes it very difficult to obtain a patent and enforce a patent. Estimates are as high as 90% of patents are invalidated after they are granted because there is so much information out there which basically says that this invention, this discovery is not new. And isn’t it amazing that there is potentially all of this research out there and the smartest people want to leverage it? But patent offices worldwide say these words on paper show that what you’re creating is not new, even though its never made it to the market.
So you think patents sideline science?
Yes. The way industry industry prioritizes their r&d pipeline is purely based on profits and patent positions. Science is secondary. There are essentially unlimited amount of scientific hypotheses for using various molecules, stem cells to treat certain diseases or to increase life expectancy. For a publicly traded pharmaceutical company to justify investment, they need to have that 20 year exclusivity period or else it doesn’t work for them. So instead of science prioritizing r&d, capital gains dictate r&d pipelines.
There is this concept, that because it is so difficult to obtain a patent to get that 20 year exclusivity period, pharmaceutical companies traditionally only invest in brand new molecules. Molecules that have never been conceived before, there’s no publishing on it, essentially no previous research. What this has caused is the cost and and time of bringing a therapy or biotechnology to market is dramatically increasing – the opposite of Moore’s Law.
And what can IKU do?
We can leverage all of the research that has already been done to date to create new forms of biotechnology and attach exclusivity periods ranging from 3 – 12 years. The amazing thing is that instead of it costing $2 billion to get a treatment or tech to market, it can cost as little as a few million.
We’ve uncovered a host of biotechnologies and a tremendous amount of research in which we can get new forms of treatments, cures, and preventative measures to the market under $10M while still maintaining an exclusivity period of between 3 – 12 years. That is 200x less the cost and just a few years less in exclusivity than brand new molecules.
We are able to take this research and these amazing biotechnologies, independent of whether or not you can get a patent, and we can prove scientific and economic justification for contributing funds, owning the intellectual property, and bringing that to market.
IKU is a potential game changer. Like any app, or dApp for that matter, adoption is required. Luckily for IKU, high volume transactions are not required, and it would be super exciting to see even just a few new treatments develop through the DAO.
We want to be the digital solution that simultaneously solves for liquidity, storage of IP, and commoditization of IP. With the ease (hopefully) of creating specific use case chains in 2019 I see great potential of IKU becoming standalone. – Project Lead, Michael Kisselgof
SOURCE: SV Advisory Group
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