Speeding the Process of Making Medical Discoveries and Moving Them Into Treatment

From 2005 to 2008, the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) of Saratoga, Calif., implemented the Accelerated Research Collaboration model, a focused strategy for structuring medical research. The model combines disease-focused scientific collaboration and best business practices in order to speed the process of making discoveries and move them into treatment.

The foundation's mission is to discover how myelin, the protective sheath around neurons, is created, damaged and can be repaired, and ultimately to identify new treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS).

Key Results

During the grant period, the Myelin Repair Foundation:

  • Managed, tested and disseminated the Accelerated Research Collaboration model as a tool for catalyzing and accelerating medical research. The publication rate among participating labs doubled as researchers increased the amount of data they generated.
  • Made meaningful scientific progress in advancing knowledge of the biological processes involved in myelin repair. The Myelin Repair Foundation has been awarded one patent, has filed applications for eight others, and has begun preparing eight more.
  • Consulted with more than 60 nonprofit organizations working on diseases other than multiple sclerosis, sharing documents and techniques to allow them to adopt all or part of the model for managed research.
  • Developed a secure, centralized database so that participating laboratories could archive, review and evaluate research results as they become available.

See the Afterward section of the report for additional accomplishments since the end of the RWJF grant and news about the Myelin Repair Foundation’s closing in August 2015.