Bringing the open-source movement to medical discoveries to accelerate disease research

This project will test ways to redefine the reward structures for sharing research data and analysis in an effort to use the open-source movement to build better models of disease and reimagine the traditional roles that patients, researchers and funders play in medical research. The current system of drug discovery is inefficient and hampered by reward incentives that run counter to rapid learning. This project--to demonstrate how the progress of drug discoveries can be transparent and collaborative--will entail the customized design, development and launch of a web-based platform on which computational models of disease are built through collaborative competitions, with tailored tracking of the progress of discovery as needed for scientists, patients and investors. This platform will be built by interfacing the Ashoka Changemakers model for collaborative competitions with the Sage Bionetworks Synapse model, which creates an open-source environment for researchers to share scientific data, tools and disease models for collaborative research. Sage Bionetworks and Ashoka Changemakers have entered into a formal partnership to create the platform, which they will call MedXChange. The platform will be built and piloted on three disease models yet to be determined. Sage and Ashoka will launch the platform at the April 2012 Sage Congress. Then, the pilot phase of the marketplace for the three "activated" disease communities will be tested from April 2012 until April 2013.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $192,000.00

Awarded on: 1/24/2012

Time frame: 2/15/2012 - 4/14/2013

Grant Number: 69797



1700 North Moore Street, Suite 2000
Arlington, VA, 22209-1921


Stephen Henry Friend
Project Director


Chitra Krishnan
Project Director