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by Ronald Brus | 16 Jan 2017

The Next Step Towards Earlier Access to Drugs in Development

By Dr Ronald Brus, Founder and CEO of myTomorrows

Born out of personal experience, we felt there was something inherently wrong in the rationale how access to medicines in development for patients without treatment options was organized. I would have expected that being a medical doctor and having led a large biotech company would have helped me in navigating local approval, regulatory affairs and discussions with drug companies back in 2012. This was not the case.

 

 

It was then that myTomorrows was born. myTomorrows aims to make development stage drugs available to physicians and their patients facing unmet medical needs, those who cannot participate in clinical trials due to the exclusion criteria.

 

 

Combining deep medical, technological and regulatory expertise, we have proven that the platform model for facilitating access to drugs in development works — for physicians and their patients, for drug makers, and even for governments. Over the last years we have been able to support hundreds of physicians in many countries – to treat patients that would otherwise have not had any further options. Where patients are facing an unmet medical need, we see our role in breaking down barriers and making access to drugs possible.

 

 

Last week we announced that two new investors, Octopus Ventures from London and EQT Ventures from Stockholm, have joined myTomorrows. Together with Balderton Capital and Sofinnova Parters, who supported us already in 2014, this group invested €10m in myTomorrows. They share the belief that the current model for access to development-stage medicines is there because of tradition rather than because it puts the patient first or helps in gathering the best data to practice rational pharmacotherapy. There is a real problem that needs to be solved and with the support of a strong and experienced team, this is the next step towards change.

 

 

With the necessary funding in place, we want to attract key talent that can help us to further unburden regulators and turn the traditional access model on its head. Physicians and patients can expect that myTomorrows will become active in more countries to help more patients globally.

 

 

The way medicines are developed today is changing. We will see the collection of efficacy data move out of an artificial clinical setting and into the real world, treating regular patients. Focusing on creating access for the large group of patients that cannot participate in clinical trials, the myTomorrows concept will play a key role in the development of real-world evidence collection.

 

 

Alongside the funding round to help expand the myTomorrows vision, James Shannon has been appointed chairman of the supervisory board. I am personally very happy to have someone like James head up the myTomorrows board. With his heavy experience as Chief Medical Officer at GlaxoSmithKline as well as leading pharma development at Novartis he is a very inspiring person to guide this change. In his words, this is what he believes myTomorrows will mean to physicians and their patients in future:

 

 

“Signaling regarding drug effectiveness will increasingly move to the real world setting with data sets coming from a wider range of patients than are normally included in typical clinical trials. myTomorrows changes the drug development model as we know it, for the better. The technology layers make searching and accessing investigational drugs a seamless process for physicians and their patients,”

James Shannon MD.