A FasterBlog for FasterCures

I wish I could coherently, accurately, comprehensively blog about Day One of the Milken Family Foundation’s FasterCures “Partnering For Cures” Global Conference.  I cannot.  I’ll try, of course, but it would be impossible to do this exchange of ideas justice in a few words.  

Monday and Tuesday, 750+ attendees (and one cancer patient/blogger) listened to, and participated in, plenary talks, breakout sessions, and numerous informal roundtable discussions and offline collaboration, all focused on getting people healthier, faster.  These stakeholders are pushing the pace of healthcare initiatives forward so that one day, YOU or someone you know/love will benefit.

OK, so WHAT is FasterCures?  In their own words:

FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is an action tank, determined to remove barriers to medical progress. We have only one goal: to save lives by speeding up and improving the medical research system.

HOW is Partnering For Cures accelerating research? Again, in their words:

Now in its 7th year, Partnering for Cures connects hundreds of decision-makers from across diseases who are motivated by the same mission – to reduce the time and cost of getting new therapies from discovery to patients.

So WHO is involved in this conference?

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton. NIH Director Francis Collins.  FDA Deputy Commissioner Robert Califf. Entrepreneur/philanthropist Sean Parker (if you’ve ever downloaded music – legally or otherwise – you can thank Napster founder Parker).  Numerous notable others in pharma, biotech, government, public policy, academia and research, non-profit and advocacy, investors and capital providers.  Oh yes, Mike Milken, too. He’s kind of an important cog in this.

Check out the Twitter feed for #FCP4C – there’s a ton of information in bite-sized chunks.

They might not make a ton of sense outside the context of these sessions, but those 140-character summaries paint the picture of diverse backgrounds and interests coming together for a common goal – bring treatments and cures to market in less time and with more efficiency.

To do so, these leaders are fully engaged answering the most pressing healthcare hot buttons:

  • Raise the capital; who can bring the power of meaningful investment and philanthropy dollars to those who can transform equity into progress?
  • Make it precise; what treatment(s) will affect ME, on a personalized level?  
  • Share the data; where are technologies that can be leveraged to get the vast but fragmented data stores to have a meaningful impact on individual health, on future medical research, on population overall health and quality of life?
  • Get to the finish line; when can these ideas be implemented, so more lives are affected?
  • Engage the patients; how do we hear their voice?

The Milken Institute’s graphic illustrator, Tom Benthin, drew an excellent visualization that much better summarized the conference and its mission, called Advancing the Science of Patient Input.  Fittingly, it concludes with the appropriate tagline, “We all know someone who could use a Faster Cure.”  Thanks to the efforts this week, many of those “someones” will get the treatment they will need much quicker.


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