So last week in Boston we attended a second event on innovation, this one focused on a topic quite dear to us, clinical trials: Disruptive Innovations In Clinical Trials.
For a little start-up from London that is trying to shake up the clinical trial industry at a global scale (yes, we’re that humble), this was the most exhilarating of experiences.
Two full days surrounded by senior execs from Big Pharma who, both in public presentations as well as in private one-to-ones, repeated the same kind of messages that WE keep shouting out loud to the world: clinical trials haven’t changed in the last 30-40 years, and it’s about time they do; the current business model of clinical research is unsustainable; collaboration is not a four-letter word; new (disruptive) solutions will probably come from small non-pharma firms; new (crazy) ideas should be cherished and developed before being shot down by …. (enter any department name) and bureaucracy…
Presentation after presentation, we were barely able to contain ourselves from jumping up from our seats, fists in the air, crying: That’s us! And wishing we could walk up to the stage to share our story in detail: how we got here, how the challenges for innovators they were so well describing in theory were the ones we face every day, how much of that love and fostering for new solutions we’d like to have to change clinical trials for the better. And so on… But more on this later, on a separate post.
There were a few guest speakers who didn’t disappoint a bit, especially Jon Platt with his TED-like presentation about innovation, and Jeri Burtchell’s moving on-stage conversation with Craig Lipset. Perhaps the best example of how unusual this conference was is that Jeri, a patient with MS, deserved and received the loudest round of applause.
It was also a great opportunity to meet new people, current partners, kind-of-competitors, and fellow innovators. What is certain is that this has been one of the best conferences we ever attended and we can’t wait for the next one, in 2013. Valerie, thanks for everything!