Blogging from BIO 2 - Michael J. Fox on Changing the Drug Development Game: Smaller Antes, and Show Cards Sooner

Micheal J. FOxEverytime I see Michael J. Fox I think of the Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper song "Elvis is Everywhere" Elvis is in everybody out there. Everybody's got Elvis in them. Everybody except one person that is, Yeah, one person! The ... opposite of Elvis, the Anti-Elvis.  Anti-Elvis got no Elvis in him, Lemme tell ya. Michael J. Fox has no Elvis in him. While Mr. Fox might not have any Elvis in him (even though he spent last Saturday in Presley's adopted home town of Las Vegas to cheer on De la Hoya - "He was robbed," Fox said), what he does have is a passion for Parkinson's disease research and a clear understanding of how drugs are created. The keynote speaker at BIO 2007 today in Boston compared the Pharma pipeline to a high stakes game of Texas Hold 'em, a popular card game made famous by Binnion's in Vegas.) Fox feels the stakes are high but defining what is "winning" is difficult. Fox doesn't advocate just throwing more money at the the problem, he wants the existing money to be used more effectively. One of the major obstacles he sees is the failure to give incentives to the high risk involved with drug development. Change the Game Fox wants the drug development game to change, requiring smaller antes and the ability to see more cards sooner. He clearly knows the system well. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's and quitting acting, Fox established the The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, whose ambitious mission is to find a cure for Parkinson's within this decade. The Foundation's strategy has been to fund preclinical and clinical research to advance the science, eliminating some degree of risk, to entice big-gun venture capitalists into funding later-stage research. The Foundation is among the first to provide funding to both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Bill Swichtenberg, Senior Editor