Drug and Other Therapy Development Working Group

Working Group Description:
The DOTD working group focuses on topics of interest and common challenges in funding drug discovery or development programs. Our goal is to share experiences and develop common resources or tools that we can use to accelerate translational research through our respective organizations.

In 2018, the Drug and Other Therapy Development Group is being co-chaired by:

  • James Hendrix, Director, Global Science Initiatives, Medical and Scientific Relations, Alzheimer’s Association
  • Rusty Kelley, Senior Program Officer, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
  • Steve Roberds, Chief Scientific Officer. Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance







  • 6/24/2014:  Webinar presentation “Update on NCATS” by Christopher P. Austin, M.D., Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health (NIH). NCATS is the newest of 27 Institutes and Centers at NIH. The Center was established in 2011 to transform the translational science process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster.  Slides from the presentation can be found here.
  • 12/12/2013:  Webinar presentation, “Accelerating global research collaboration among biopharma and academia: CRI’s Clinical Accelerator Program,” by Adam Kolom, Managing Director, CRI Venture Fund, with Aiman Shalabi, PharmD, MBA, BCOP, Senior Director at MedImmune.  The Clinical Accelerator facilitates a global research collaboration among the field’s top academic researchers and leading biopharmaceutical companies, incorporating many of the proven principles of nonprofit venture philanthropy while drawing on a number of additional business and clinical capabilities to enable the program and its affiliated researchers to play a more active role in guiding and facilitating the clinical research it is designed to support.  Slides from this presentation can be found here.
  • 08/14/2012 Webinar on the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative Representatives from the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, CTTI, presented on ways to identify practices that increase the quality and efficiency of clinical trials. Slides from the webinar can be viewed here.  For further information on the ClinicalTrials.gov project and links to publications, please see the CTTI website.
  • 2/14/2012 webinar, “Avoiding Consortium Fatigue – lessons learned by C-Path:” Meeting agenda, description of C-Path’s Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD), an article by Coons et al, “The Patient-Reported Outcome Consortium;” and an article by Romero et al, “Striving for an integrated drug development process for neurodegeneration: the coalition against major diseases.”Thanks to Diane Stephenson and Lynn Hudson with C-Path for presenting to the working group. Slides are now available.
  • 11/15/2011 Working Group Meeting: At their November meeting, the working group had an interesting discussion of clinical trial networks and associated clinical trial issues. Kim Hunter-Schaedle of the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Working Group Co-Chair, has provided notes from the meeting. The two presenters have also shared their slides: Marie Nierras from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, who presented the JDRF Canadian Clinical Trials Network, and Jill O’Donnell-Tormey from the Cancer Research Institute, who presented the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative Clinical Trials Network. Thanks to our presenters for these informative presentations. The Working Group will return to the topic of clinical trials in a future meeting.
  • 9/30/2011 Working Group Meeting: The Working Group met in conjunction with the September Members’ Meeting, with an agenda focused on identifying gaps and opportunities with presentations from a gaps analysis consultant and a representative from a venture capital firm. Thanks to Marie Nierras, Ph.D., Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and to Kim Hunter-Schaedle, Ph.D., Children’s Tumor Foundation, for providing notes.
  •  6/14/2011 webinar on gaining access to off-the-shelf drugs from pharma:  Slides from the webinar, “Gaining access to off-the-shelf drugs from pharma.” are available. HRA thanks Steven Roberds, Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow with Pfizer for presenting to the group.
  • Information from 4/12/2011 webinar on mitigation of risk in venture philanthropy transactions: Ken Schaner of Schaner & Lubitz, PLLC, presented a webinar on how charities can protect themselves from risk in funding drug development programs, on April 12. His slides have been made available.  Many thanks to Ken and to Jill O’Donnell-Tormey of the Cancer Research Institute, who invited Ken to present the webinar.
  • In-person meeting of the Drug and Other Therapy Development Working Group at the March 2011 Members’ Meeting: The Working Group had an interesting meeting on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at The Alexandria Center for Life Sciences in New York, with a panel discussion by three industry representatives about what industry wants and needs in working with nonprofits to accelerate the development of new therapeutics – check out the notes from that meeting, prepared by Sharon Hesterlee of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.


Drug/therapy development program descriptions: In 2011, the group reviewed two-page descriptions of member organizations’ drug/therapy development programs prepared by working group members. Most of these descriptions include the goal of the program, when it was initiated, targets, contact person, a brief description of the program including a schematic, metrics, challenges and solutions, and a list of resources that the organization is willing to share. All of the program descriptions that have been submitted are available as links below:

The previous Translational Philanthropy Working Group developed some resources that will continue to be of use to the Drug and Other Therapy Development Interest Group. For example, the Translational Philanthropy Working Group developed a bibliography of useful references on accelerating the development of treatments and cures.