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Creating a Nonprofit Marketplace for Shelved Drugs: Lessons from a Pilot Project

Many promising medicines, despite strong safety data and pharmaceutical characteristics, are discontinued by drug companies for nonscientific reasons, including strategic, organizational, and financial considerations. Gaining access to these shelved drugs—to investigate intended or new indications—is challenging. Meanwhile, patients and families wait for new therapies for their conditions.

A new approach to solving this challenge assigns patient advocacy groups and other nonprofit organizations as matchmakers between discontinued drug assets and capital sources. The lessons learned from piloting this approach offer a potential template for others focused on identifying and accessing discontinued assets for clinical development.