Leveraging the Benefits of Blockchain in Drug Discovery
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Leveraging the Benefits of Blockchain in Drug Discovery

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Friday, April 19, 2019

Most drugs have been discovered in the past by identifying the active ingredient via traditional remedies. The drug discovery process involves the identification of candidates, synthesis, characterization, screening, and therapeutic efficacy testing. Blockchain offers a tremendous opportunity to overcome the challenges faced in healthcare today, including interoperability, security, integrity, traceability, and universal access.

Since blockchain is a distributed ledger technology, no central authority owns the data, and doctors can easily access them. It will also give patients more power because they can manage their personal health data without third-party interventions. Since blockchain adaptation eliminates multiple parties’ involvement, the costs of operations will be lower for both healthcare professionals and patients. Each transaction is updated with time-stamps during the drugs supply so that the traceability of drugs is easy and the chances of the supply of fake drugs are also eliminated. The research of the Pistoia Alliance found that 60 percent of life science organizations are already experimenting with blockchain technologies or actively using them.

The researchers make use of a dedicated interface to instigate blockchain uploading of documents. The blockchain system encrypts the document locally and uploads the encrypted document to a user preferred secure document storage system or a company’s document storage system that also creates a record. The encryption key thus generated is shared on the blockchain system and the researcher is issued and assigned a blockchain certificate. Security, confidentiality, trusts and legally accepted records, proof of origin, and ownership are achieved at once with the blockchain technology.

Each company has supportive strengths and capabilities to achieve a breakthrough in molecular design while reducing risks by merging their respective talents. However, the partners may not trust each other and may be concerned that they will be short-changed during the splitting of royalties and IP ownership. A smart royalty contract that coordinates this arrangement can be envisaged, with ownership of eventual molecules divided fairly between companies. Using smart blockchain contracts, the stipulated royalties can be triggered after regulators approve the drug. In addition, the network’s Byzantine fault tolerance can defend against mismanagement by companies if one of the companies tries to cheat.

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