To read: Open Innovation, Social network and advances in Drug discovery
Extract of a recent good review:
“Social networking is beginning to make an impact on the drug discovery process. A convergence of different commercial and publicly accessible chemical informatics, databases and social networking tools is positioned to change the way that scientific and medical collaborations are initiated, maintained and expanded, particularly in the realm of complex, rare and orphan diseases . A community-based platform that combines traditional drug discovery informatics with Web 2.0 platforms and strong privacy is believed to be the key to facilitate richer and instantaneous collaborations involving health care professionals with the same interests. This way data from differential diagnosis, experiments and new drugs being tested are archived, mined and then selectively shared between colleagues in the Internet with standardized formats.
New drugs are subject to exhaustive crucial scrutiny, yet there has never been a corresponding effort to collect reports of drugs delivering unexpected benefits. If open innovation can lead to the creation of the world’s most complete encyclopedia such as Wikipedia, that same approach could be used to capture the exceptional untapped value associated with existing drugs, and to power the discovery of important new medicines. In the Facebook and Google era, there might be a better, more efficient and systematic way of harnessing this communal wisdom for drug discovery. (…)
In light of these initiatives, large pharmaceutical organizations are in the process of transitioning from a fully integrated pharmaceutical company to fully integrated pharmaceutical networks with a social networking component connecting members with similar interests as well as project tracking and planning.
Academic and private sectors need user-friendly and efficient tools for information exchange and to share data points from patients. Pharmaceutical companies have interdepartmental databases of patients and samples for research, clinical trials and for patient follow-up, but there is no communication between these databases, even within databases housed in the same company [Social Media in Science and Medicine: http://www.laboratory-journal.com/science/information-technology-it/social-media-science-and-medicine%5D. To date, there are no social networks in the market that offers useful solutions for science and medicine in the clinical genetics field [Social Media in Science and Medicine: http://www.laboratory-journal.com/science/information-technology-it/social-media-science-and-medicine%5D. It is paramount for physicians to have reliable tools that will facilitate diagnosis and identify better treatments for diseases. (…)
As in the medical field, there is an increasing need for solutions in the scientific field for networking and communication between professionals with common interests. ResearchGate, Academia.edu and Mendeley are already providing some tools to achieve this goal but more specialized open-source media tools are needed in science and medicine. Despite existing competition in science, the best way for science to have a major impact in society and change the way we approach diseases is through collaboration and networking. In the end, the outcome will be the development of better drugs and faster translation of basic science to the patient’s bedside”.
Fabricio F. Costa. Social networks, web-based tools and diseases: implications for biomedical research. Drug Discovery Today, Available online 23 October 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drudis.2012.10.006