Thursday, 17 September 2015

CrowdSpeak: we will be launching our CrowdFunding project soon

Going back to basics for our crowdfunding project #CrowdSpeak #MSBlog #MSResearch

"In response to a question about what has happened to our CrowdFunding project. We have to deconstruct it and go back to basics."

"To work-out what dose of drug F we need to use in the ARTEMIS trial we need to assess the impact of different doses of drug F on EBV infection in MSers. We plan to do a dose finding study using the complete suppression of EBV shedding in the saliva as the outcome. To be able to power the shedding study we need to know how many MSers shed EBV and how persistent their viral shedding is. Fortunately, we have been able to find a biobank of serial saliva samples from MSers collected as part of another study. We had to apply for ethical approval to use these samples and the project has been approved. What we now need is the money to run the lab project to process the saliva samples. We plan to use this simple project with a well-defined outcome to test the Crowdfunding platform. For those of you interested in Crowdfunding in the medical research space the letter below published in the Lancet may be of interest to you."

Sharma et al. Is crowdfunding a viable source of clinical trial research funding? The Lancet 2015;386:338. 

As public research grants for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have diminished and become increasingly competitive, researchers have to search for alternative funding sources. Crowdfunding, in which projects are funded directly from the public through the internet, might represent a potential source of RCT funding. However, whether or not crowdfunding campaigns for clinical RCTs are successful is unclear. To explore the success of research crowdfunding campaigns, we assessed the top online (based on site volume) English crowdfunding websites: Gofundme, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Teespring, Patreon, YouCaring, CrowdRise, DonorsChoose, Kiva, and Giveforward. Additionally, we examined medical research crowdfunding websites: Experiment, Consano, Petridish, and Cancer Research UK. We (AS and JK) independently searched these crowdfunding websites using the following search terms: ”clinical study”, ”randomized clinical trial”, and ”research”. We also independently established whether a campaign met our eligibility criteria of funding for a clinical RCT that was led by an academic or research institution. A consensus process to resolve disagreements was established. 20 campaigns met our eligibility criteria (Cohen’s κ=0·88; appendix). Eight (62%) of 13 completed campaigns achieved their fundraising goals. Unsuccessful campaigns raised 1–6% of the funding sought. Five (63%) of eight campaigns that reached their funding goals were for pilot or phase 1 studies. 19 (95%) of 20 campaigns used a flexible model (ie, researchers kept all the funds raised) compared with a fixed model (ie, researchers kept the money only if the target was met). The maximum funds raised were US$3 113 000 (£2 000 000) for the Oncolytic Virus for Patients with Neuroendocrine Tumours study. Although details were restricted, most research projects seemed to have had some funding from other sources. Our research suggests that most crowdfunding campaign funding targets are achieved. Crowdfunding might represent an eff ective option to rapidly raise research funds to do RCTs. Even unsuccessful campaigns were able to raise some funds, albeit a small percentage of their target goal. This strategy might be especially useful for pilot or phase 1 studies because funding from national public agencies is insufficient. Further research with crowdfunding is needed to establish strategies that maximise the likelihood of success.

CoI: multiple

1 comment:

  1. are the samples from dr ruth's study? i gave some samples in 2010 so interested to know what has happened since then?


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