Join our social experiment to show that drugs can be made without patents. The cost of anticancer drugs is too high. Our movement is working to solve this problem.
New! Stretch goal!
We're looking to reach our target of $75,000 - if we reach this goal, we'll make a third compound in the 9DS series, and the highest donor between 4:30pm October 25th and the close of fundraising will have input on the name of the compound! Having more compounds in the pipeline will increase the likelihood of reaching the end goal of making a patent-free anticancer drug.
The cost of anticancer drugs is simply too high.
60 Minutes profiled a case where an anticancer drug cost $60,000 to sustain some patients for several months. Some drugs can cost upwards of $100,000 a year, bankrupting patients. This level of expense is simply unacceptable, especially since 1/3 of people will get cancer in their lifetime.
One solution to this problem is to develop unpatented drugs - pharmaceutical companies will have to sell them at a reasonable price. To those who believe that drugs cannot be made without patents we remind them:
When Salk and Sabin cured polio, they didn't patent the vaccine.
It's time to develop a patent-free anticancer drug for the 21st century.
The software industry and the open-source movement have shown that patenting is not necessary for innovation. Releasing without a patent means the drugs will be cheaper and it will be easier to build on the work to make improved drugs or drug combinations. Releasing without a patent means expanded access to drugs in countries that can't afford extensive licensing and export agreements.
What is Project Marilyn?
Project Marilyn is a campaign to develop a patent-free anticancer drug.
The campaign will fund a xenograft experiment, which is the next step in developing the promising anti-cancer compound "9DS". This experiment needs to be completed before 9DS can move on to clinical trials.
Because all funds(see faq) will go towards preclinical anticancer drug lab work, this is your best opportunity to directly contribute to anticancer research.
The drug candidate 9DS was developed at the University of Maryland. The last work done on the drug showed that it had activity against cancer competitive with leading cancer drugs such as taxol. Moreover, 9DS is also likely to have lower side effects than most chemotherapies, since a related compound, SJG-136, seems to have low side effects in early clinical trials.
Project Marilyn involves: production of more 9DS, and submitting 9DS to a xenograft study ('curing cancer in mice'). This is the next step in drug development and an important one on the way to doing clinical (human) studies. The process we're seeking to fund should take approximately 6 months. If we recieve more funding, we will add stretch goals, such as further preclinical experiments on 9DS, development 9DS analogs, or other exciting anti-cancer ideas.
If you'd like more scientific background on the process to make 9DS that we will be repeating, the paper disclosing its production is open-access courtesy of the NIH.
The official scientific prospectus approved by the indysci board is available for examination.
Our plan is to spend all donor funds (after processing fees) on scientific expenses, including renting lab space, purchasing appropriate equipment for producing 9DS, contracting analytical services, and contracting the xenograft study (this is the cheapest and most ethical way to do xenografts). You can see a breakdown of this in the chart below, and a full budget is available here. The actual percentages may vary depending on how much support we are able to secure!
The Science Team
As part of this campaign, we'll be accepting bitcoin donations. At the conclusion of the fundraising period, collected bitcoin will be added to the total donations to ascertain if we have tilted our fundraising. You can see how much we have recieved in bitcoin, in real-time, above. Because of the non-refundability of bitcoin, if our fundraising fails to tilt, we will make a best effort to return the bitcoin, or otherwise donate the funds to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research hospital. If we raise 10 BTC for the effort, these funds will be used to cover the expenses to scale up and begin testing one variant of 9DS. We'll name this compound "satoshimycin" in honor of Nakamoto Satoshi.
0.01 BTC or more we'll send you a Project Marilyn pin.
0.1 BTC or more we'll send you an indysci.org tee shirt.
0.25 BTC or more we'll send you a 9DS tie.
0.5 BTC or more we'll deliver to you a commemorative 1 oz silver "Project Marilyn" round. This offer is bitcoin-only.
We'll also deliver the same round to whichever donors of any amount take us past every multiple of 1 BTC donations. Please submit your email if you would like to be in contention for these rewards.
Special thanks to the early donors: Everitt Clark, Ranjan Mannige, Jennifer Kahl, Matthew Might, Michelle Millard, and Neha Chachra.
Frequently Asked Questions
As a chemotherapy, what are the side effects of 9DS?
There's no way to know until clinical trials begin. Early clinical results from tests of a related compound, SJG-136, as reported by the manufacturer, have very minor side effects that are easily manageable by prophylactic medication.
What types of cancer will 9DS be effective against?
9DS looks like it will be most effective against melanoma, renal cancer, and triple negative breast cancer. We'll pick one (or more, depending on how much we raise) of these to do the xenograft study. We believe that small changes to the molecule can alter which cancers 9DS analogs go after, so a stretch goal will be to make these alternative molecules and test to see what other types of cancer we might be able to treat.
Will my donation be used to conduct animal research?
Yes. The Xenograft experiment where we 'cure cancer in mice' is an animal experiment and constitutes ~75% of the $50,000 goal. If you'd like to earmark your donation for non-animal research, please let the organizer know.
Who owns the patents on the drugs you're developing?
No one owns the patents to these drugs. Because the discovery of the drug was published more than a year ago and the inventors didn't execute a patent on it, it is not patentable.
How are you paying for donor gifts?
Currently, our plan is to pay for donor gifts out of pocket. If you'd like to make an additional contribution to help defray these costs, please let the organizer know.
What happens to leftover funds after 9DS is made and tested?
Remaining funds can be used to continue preclinical research, such as further preclinical experiments on 9DS, developing analogs of 9DS, or other anti-cancer ideas, specific choices will be made by the indysci board depending on how much remains. If any funds remain after the pursuit of these ideas, they will be donated to a 501(c)(3) cancer research hospital.