By Aisling Burnand, Chief Executive, AMRC
Published: 16 November 2016
Yesterday ‘Partnering for Cures’ drew to a close leaving hundreds of life sciences sector leaders inspired and motivated  to drive cross-sector partnerships that will bring meaningful medical solutions to patients faster.For the UK delegates, the timing of this motivating conference was particularly prescient.  As the UK prepares to exit the EU, it is critical that the life sciences sector works together to mitigate the impact on patients and research. We know we must showcase how the UK is leading the way in putting patients at the heart of research to deliver outcomes that best meet their needs.
For the next step in this journey the AMRC is partnering with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry to unite the charity and industry sectors encouraging partnerships that put patients at their heart. The event will bring together everyone involved in delivering better outcomes for patients – from research and development to care and access to treatments.

Why partner?

The costs and expertise required to bring new therapies and treatments to market cannot be provided by charities alone – industry is often the main driver.  Partnerships can help you achieve cost-effectiveness and avoid duplication of effort, making sure all available resources are used in the best possible way.  They also provide access to a wide range of expertise from across disciplines, helping you to improve the quality and impact of research for the benefit of patients.

Ultimately, partnerships will speed the development of treatments that will change lives.

How to partner

Every partnership is different, making it difficult to prescribe principles and guidelines; nevertheless, AMRC has developed ‘An Essential Partnership: A guide for charities working with industry’ to serve as a road-map to guide both medical research charities and the healthcare industries toward forming open and productive partnerships with impact. It illustrates the varied and novel ways that charities can work together for maximum benefit. 

Throughout the guide, there are three principles that underpin all aspects of partnerships: integrity, independence and transparency – as long as you conduct your partnerships following these principles you should feel confident in pursuing such ventures.

If you’re looking for first hand advice on how to partner, Patients First is the place to find it. There will be a host of charity and industry sector leaders ready to share best practice, ideas and insights from their cross-sector partnerships including…

    • Breast Cancer Now and Pfizer – collaborating with Pfizer, Breast Cancer Now researchers have been granted unprecedented access to at least 14 of Pfizer’s existing drugs and drugs currently in development. Pfizer has also committed around £10 million in funding over three years to ensure this research can happen.
    • Alzheimer's Research UK and MSD – Alzheimer’s Research UK has developed a dementia consortium with MSD, MRC Technology, Abbvie, Astex, Eisai and Lilly to help accelerate the development of therapies for novel dementia targets.

You will have the opportunity to ask them all about their partnerships and how they achieved a successful charity-industry relationship.

Taking the first step

Patients First will bring together hundreds of influencers from across the medical research system in the presence of patients and family members in a unique opportunity to network with peers who share your goals and interests. The programme is designed to explore creative, patient-centred solutions and to help you develop partnerships that will make a difference for patients.

One-to-one partnering will be running throughout the day to help you build new bridges and find common ground with people you may not usually come into contact with.  Using the conference app you can look in advance at who will be attending and set up meetings to ensure you get as much out of the conference as possible. You can also set up your profile and let other people message you to network in a way that will be both useful and rewarding.

So register for Patients First and take the first step towards finding a partner that will help you deliver better outcomes for your patients. Let’s make it happen!